Approximately 15 percent of adults around the world suffer from tinnitus. The condition that causes ringing and other sounds in the ears not related to external stimuli. The severity of tinnitus can range from a mild annoyance to having a severe impact on everyday functioning. To mitigate symptoms, a growing number of people utilize yoga for tinnitus relief.
Common Symptoms and Causes of Tinnitus
People with tinnitus hear a wide range of sounds at various volume levels that other people do not hear. Ringing in the ears is a common description of tinnitus, but the condition can also present as buzzing, clicking, hissing, humming, or roaring. The pitch of tinnitus sounds ranges from low to high-pitched and screeching.
Sometimes tinnitus goes away for several weeks or months at a time only to return. People with severe tinnitus may completely lack the ability to concentrate because the phantom sounds in their ears are so loud.
Tinnitus can be either objective or subjective. Objective tinnitus means an audiologist can hear sounds in the patient’s ear during an exam. Common causes include blood vessel problems, an issue with the middle ear bone, and contractions within the ear. This type is rare. When someone has subjective tinnitus, no one else can hear the sounds. Common causes include auditory nerve or pathway issues causing hearing loss or issues present with the inner, outer, or middle ear.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are a growing number of options for managing the symptoms. These include using hearables or hearing aids for tinnitus, installing tinnitus sound therapy applications, dietary changes, and of course, yoga.
Tinnitus often accompanies hearing loss but now always. Other causes of the common audiological condition include:
- Blood vessel disorders
- Cardiovascular issues
- Effects of certain medications
- Earwax buildup
- Head injury
- Meniere’s disease
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
- Repeated exposure to loud noise or one-time exposure to noise at an extremely high decibel level
What is Yoga?
The earliest evidence of people practicing yoga comes from India in the year 6000 BC. Yoga is the practice of holding certain poses while focusing on breathing and clearing the mind of intrusive thoughts.
Many feel that yoga helps them feel more centered and relaxed in everyday life. From a physical standpoint, yoga helps to improve flexibility and strength.
The popularity of yoga grew from ancient Indian times to the popularity it receives today. For people with tinnitus, yoga improves circulation that can boost the health of the auditory system.
What Does the Research Say About Yoga for Ears Ringing?
People have tried many natural remedies for relief of their tinnitus symptoms over the years, including yoga. While practicing yoga for tinnitus cannot cure the condition, people with tinnitus have reported that they do offer significant benefit. A 2019 research study conducted in Poland backs this up. Researchers reviewed the link between yoga and tinnitus after following 25 people with chronic tinnitus for 12 weeks. Among their findings:
- Patients felt a better sense of control over their tinnitus symptoms
- Patients reported less intrusiveness of their tinnitus symptoms
- Chronic tinnitus sufferers reported improved sleep quality after engaging in yoga for tinnitus
- Yoga helped patients reduce stress and improve breathing practices
Approximately half of the study participants had an MRI at the end of the 12 weeks that showed stronger connections in the brain’s white matter. The exercises for yoga had effectively retrained the brain.
Most Effective Poses When Practicing Yoga for Tinnitus
Yoga instructors and those who practice it make up the larger yoga community that recommends the poses below to promote tinnitus relief.
1/2 #Yoga #Postures for #Tinnitus – this is not a flow yoga – hold the 8️⃣ postures for a min of 20 seconds each – you can, of course intersperse whatever other postures you want 🧘♂️ 🤸🏽♂️
1️⃣ Triangle ⚠️ Pose
2️⃣ Hand to Big Toe Pose 🦶🏿
3️⃣ Downward Dog 🐶 Pose
4️⃣ Camel 🐪 Pose
— Krista Weiss (@weisballet) January 19, 2021
Cobra pose (bhujangasana): Striking the cobra pose starts with lying face down on a mat and then lifting the chest by balancing on the elbows. This pose helps to improve concentration and tinnitus noise levels.
Cow face pose (gomukhasana): Begin by sitting on the mat and stacking one knee on top of the other while clasping the hands behind the back. People can typically hold this pose for a longer period than most other yoga poses. The cow face pose helps to improve circulation throughout the body while reducing the physical pain associated with tinnitus.
Downward facing dog pose (adho mukha svanasa): To start this pose, point both toes towards the front of the mat, bend over in a triangle position, and place both hands flat on the mat. The downward facing dog pose stretches and strengthens the entire body, improving the flow of oxygen to the head and auditory system.
Fish pose (matsyasana): Lying face up on the mat, raise the upper half of the body and allow the back, shoulders and neck to support the head. Although maintaining the fish pose is challenging, it improves blood flow and reduces stress levels.
Triangle pose (trikonasana): Stand on a mat with legs spread several feet apart, placing the left arm near the left ankle. Then, stretch the right arm up as high as possible. This pose promotes the circulation of fresh blood into the neck and head, sometimes causing the ears to clear as a result.
Meditation is the primary focus of yoga, and one theory is that it distracts people to the point of relaxation. This makes many less aware of their tinnitus symptoms.
Combining Yoga with Nuheara IQbuds² MAX for Improved Symptom Relief
While many recognize the benefits of yoga for tinnitus, some struggle to find a quiet place to complete their yoga poses. Striking poses in noisy environments defeats the purpose of yoga. This is because it’s a highly spiritual practice that encourages inner peace and relaxation. The good news is that IQbuds² MAX help solve this challenge.
IQbuds² MAX are wireless earbuds designed to the specifications of each user. For example, users can choose the ‘World Off’ feature (active noise cancellation) when doing yoga exercises outdoors to block out sounds that make quiet reflection impossible.
Then switch to the ‘World On’ feature when interacting with others to help clarify the sound of speech while muting background noises. The earbuds also enable users to determine the level of sound they process in several indoor environments (gym, office, restaurant, etc).
With International Yoga Day coming up on June 21st, now is a great time for tinnitus sufferers to learn more about yoga. Discover how IQbuds can make each pose even more beneficial when practicing yoga for tinnitus relief.