Are you tired of that constant ringing in your ears? If so, you’re not alone. Tinnitus is a type of hearing loss that affects millions of people worldwide. The symptoms vary for each individual, but people generally experience this hearing condition as a slight ringing, buzzing, rushing, or even roaring in the ears. In most cases, this sound is only heard by the person suffering from tinnitus; however, in severe cases, a doctor or audiologist will be able to hear the noises.
If you believe you may be suffering from tinnitus, or any other hearing condition, it’s important to contact an experienced audiologist or hearing center. Tinnitus is not a medical condition itself, but rather, a symptom of an underlying disease or condition. A professional diagnosis can identify the cause of your tinnitus and help you work toward an effective treatment plan.
In addition to working with an audiologist, there are also many things you can do on a daily basis to alleviate your tinnitus symptoms. In general, physical activity is always beneficial (but it’s important to consult a doctor before making any major changes to your physical routine). To give you a better idea of what you can do, here we’re looking at the causes of tinnitus and a range of recreational activities that can help you manage your tinnitus.
CAUSES OF TINNITUS
Tinnitus can be a difficult condition to understand because it has a multitude of causes. Depending on the source of your tinnitus, there may be a straightforward resolution (such as changing medications), or you may need a more advanced treatment option (like Tinnitus Sound Therapy (TST)).
Hearing loss as a result of old age is the most common cause of tinnitus.
- Age-related hearing loss
- Loud noises
- Earwax buildup
- Head or neck injuries
- TMJ disorders
- Meniere’s disease
- Acoustic neuroma
- Muscle spasm in the inner ear
WALKING FOR TINNITUS
Regular exercise has been proven to relieve tinnitus. Exercise can reduce stress, control weight, improve critical thinking, and improve your overall mental health. In short, regular exercise is good for you all around. However, to relieve that ringing in your ears, you don’t need to start lifting weights like an Olympic athlete.
Moderate exercise, such as walking, can have amazing benefits and help manage stress, which often makes tinnitus much worse. There are many health benefits of walking—even just a mile a day can make a noticeable difference. Walking improves cardiovascular health, manages health, and can even improve your memory.
YOGA FOR TINNITUS
In recent years, yoga has exploded in popularity across the United States and other western countries. Originating in India (around 6,000 BC), yoga is an ancient art form that promotes wellness, mental health, and can lead to some impressive flexibility. Yoga studios have been popping up around the country as people take advantage of this array of health benefits.
Studies even show that yoga can reduce stress and symptoms of tinnitus. Yoga is especially effective at helping those with tinnitus because it works on multiple levels. Part exercise and part meditation, yoga is unique in that it can help the mind and the body all at once.
TAI CHI FOR TINNITUS
Many forms of martial arts can improve your overall health, mindset, and even provide tinnitus relief. Tai Chi, in particular, is an effective method for mending both your mind and body. There are several different styles of Tai Chi, including Chen, Yang, and Wu, with slight variances in style and technique. All forms of Tai Chi, however, focus on flowing movements that tap into your inner energy.
Tai Chi can improve flexibility, immunity, muscular strength, and relieve pain. The soft, flowing movements also promote agility, balance, and inner peace. Tai Chi is practiced by millions around the world and is surprisingly easy to learn.
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
Like many meditation techniques, people find relief from anxiety and tension with a new technique called progressive muscle relaxation. This therapy technique reduces muscle tension, which is one of your body’s natural reactions to stress. But what does this method look like?
Progressive muscle relaxation is a system of muscle contractions for different muscle groups. You can download audio recordings to help you cycle through the muscle groups, but essentially the idea is to tense a specific muscle group for a few seconds and then breathe out, relaxing those muscles. Moving slowly through the muscle groups with a steady breathing pattern can help you destress and relieve tinnitus.
Even if you can’t escape to the countryside or a relaxing beach, you can always shut your eyes and take yourself there for a few moments. For some people, this type of visualization helps provide tinnitus relief. Visualization exercises ask you to put mind over matter to relax and lower your stress levels.
If you find yourself particularly stressed or anxious, try to escape for a few minutes to a quiet area. Sit down, close your eyes, and imagine yourself in a peaceful, calm setting. This could be a beach, open field, or even your own bed. Now, visualize each detail of that setting: if you’re at the beach, smell the ocean, listen to the waves crash, feel the sand beneath your feet. Try to totally transport yourself to this location through your senses and imagination. Even a few minutes of visualization can help you relax and reduce tinnitus symptoms.
This may seem like a bit of reverse psychology, but sometimes, it’s what you don’t do that makes the most significant difference in relieving your tinnitus symptoms. When you’re stressed, anxious, or upset, tinnitus amplifies and the buzzing in your ears becomes even worse.
Identify the stressors in your daily life, whether they’re people, places, or common noises you encounter. While not all of them may be avoidable, such as your workplace or boss, try to cut out those you can control. Practicing some of these recreational activities, such as yoga or meditation, can also help you destress throughout the rest of your day.
CONCLUSION – RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES TO HELP WITH TINNITUS
Tinnitus can make daily life irritating, challenging, and cause you to struggle making and maintaining social relationships. Millions of people struggle with tinnitus symptoms and the severity of these symptoms can range from mild to severe—but there is hope. You don’t need to suffer from tinnitus, or any other hearing condition, alone. There is help available.
Many people turn to a trained audiologist for a professional hearing test and diagnosis. This professional assistance can help you better understand the cause of your tinnitus, which will shape your treatment plan. In addition to working with an audiologist, there are many recreational activities that help manage tinnitus symptoms. Hopefully, these suggestions have you a few ideas to get started.
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