Tinnitus is the ringing, buzzing, whistling, hissing or roaring sound in your ears with no external source. It affects over 50 million Americans and can affect one or both ears. Symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. Unfortunately, there is no cure for tinnitus, but there are strategies to help lessen the symptoms.
What Causes Tinnitus?
There are many possible causes of tinnitus. Sometimes determining the underlying cause can help identify an effective treatment. Causes include:
- Hearing loss
- Noise exposure
- Earwax blockage
- Meniere’s disease
- TMJ disorder
- Head injury
- Blood vessel disorders
- Cardiovascular problems
- Certain medications
Research Shows Yoga Can Help
A study published in 2019 by Polish researchers examined the effects of 12 weeks of yoga on 25 patients with chronic tinnitus. Ten of these participants underwent MRI scanning before and after yoga training in order to determine if it had any impact on brain health, and all participants’ tinnitus severity was measured using the Tinnitus Functional Index.
After 12 weeks, researchers found that patients benefited from better sense of control of tinnitus, less intrusiveness, improved sleep and enhanced quality of life. The MRI results revealed stronger connections in white matter of the brain as a result of the training.
“Yoga training has good potential to improve the daily functioning of patients with chronic tinnitus and can be considered a promising supporting method for tinnitus treatment,” researchers reported in their article, which appeared in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
How Does Yoga Help Tinnitus?
While the study did not reveal exactly how exactly yoga helped reduce tinnitus symptoms, there are a few theories.
Tinnitus can be caused by poor cardiovascular health and poor circulation. Yoga is a great form of exercise that can help with these conditions and result in reduced symptoms. Below are eight asanas (yoga poses) that help improve circulation and reduce tinnitus symptoms:
- Trikonasana (triangle pose)
- Padangusthasana (hand to big toe pose)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog)
- Ustrasana (camel pose)
- Gomukhasana (cow face pose)
- Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
- Viparita Karani (legs up the wall)
- Matsyasana (fish pose)
The other theory is that yoga can relax and distract you enough that you become less aware of your tinnitus. Meditation, which is a component of many types of yoga practice, has also been shown to reduce symptoms of tinnitus.
To discuss other tinnitus treatment options, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today!