How Meditation Can Help With Tinnitus

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Healthy Hearing

“What is that noise?” I asked my family one quiet Sunday afternoon. They all looked around squinting as if that would help them hear it, but there was no sound. “It must be my tinnitus again,” I sighed. It was starting to be a real nuisance.

Tinnitus, that pesky ringing in your ears, harasses more than 45 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association, with nearly 20 million of them bothered on a regular basis.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

The unique experience of tinnitus

Tinnitus can impact anyone, but a 2010 article in The Journal of Medicine indicates it is most common in males, older adults, and former smokers. None of these categories apply to me, but I have struggled with tinnitus for over 20 years. There is currently no cure.

The word tinnitus is derived from the Latin word tinnire, which means “to ring,” but it can take on other sounds as well. Some describe it as a buzzing or a humming. Others as a sizzling or a hissing. For me, it is most often an electrical hum — like the sound of a fluorescent light coming on — followed by a steady high-pitched tone. This can last for several minutes.

Meditation in coping with tinnitus

The only way I have found sustained relief from tinnitus is through daily meditation, which I discovered almost by accident. I regularly practice yoga, but had never tried meditation in any meaningful way, until I attended a yoga retreat a couple years ago. Intermixed with the yoga classes were afternoon tutorials on meditation.

There were only three rules.

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Can You Do Yoga With A Hearing Loss?

I love yoga! Not only is it fun, but I find the health benefits to be extraordinary. My yoga practice saved me from real injury during a fall last year, and I think that it, combined with meditation, has helped calm the severity of my tinnitus. I recommend yoga to everyone I meet — whether they have hearing loss or not!

But sometimes people with hearing loss are skeptical. They wonder, “How will I be able to follow along in class if I can’t hear the instructor? or “Will my hearing aids stay on during the postures?” Or “Will the classes be too loud?” These are all real concerns, but ones that can be offset by choosing the right class with an understanding instructor.

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Can Meditation Help With Tinnitus?

I have been reluctant to write this post. I don’t want to jinx myself. But the impact has been meaningful enough, that I wanted to share it. I have had tinnitus for a long time, and in recent years it has grown louder and more persistent. But since I started meditating regularly in August, my tinnitus has seemed a little bit better. In fact, a lot better. Is it good luck? A change in the weather? Or is the meditation? I can’t be sure. Here is my story.

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