Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a buzzing, ringing or clicking noise in the ear. Symptoms can vary from mild to debilitating. With a limited number of treatment options, many are switching to alternative treatments. New research has looked at the benefit of yoga for treating tinnitus.
Tinnitus affects nearly 50 million people in the U.S. alone. The ringing can be heard in one or both ears and can vary in loudness and pitch. The most common causes of tinnitus include:
- Exposure to loud noises
- Ear infections
- Hearing loss
- Sinus infections
- Heart or blood vessel issues
- Meniere’s disease
For most, the cause of tinnitus is unknown. Since tinnitus is permanent, treatment options including medication, sound-masking devices and hearing aids focus on managing the symptoms.
This past August, research from Poland looked at the effects of 12 weeks of yoga training on 25 patients with chronic tinnitus.
All participants were assessed using the Tinnitus Functional Index. Ten underwent an MRI before and after the yoga training. The control group was made up of 13 individuals experiencing chronic tinnitus.
The yoga course was 12 weeks long. During the training, researchers identified the areas participants benefited in most, including a sense of control over their tinnitus, sleep, quality of life and intrusiveness. The MRI results revealed connections of the white matter in the participants’ brains appeared stronger after the training.
The researchers confirmed that, “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.”
Additional Alternative Tinnitus Treatments
While the study on yoga was too small to make any definitive conclusions, the results agree with other research on the benefits of alternative treatment options.
A 2010 study looked at the benefit of acupuncture to relieve tinnitus symptoms. After six treatments, participants reported the frequency of tinnitus occurrences as well as loudness was significantly reduced and their quality of life improved.
Stress management may also be beneficial for tinnitus treatment. Chronic tinnitus can lead to anxiety and distress. Learning how to manage stress can make everyday interactions less troublesome. One way of managing stress is through yoga.
Contact the experts at Victory Hearing & Balance Center to learn more about treating your tinnitus.