Exercise is essential for your physical and mental health. However, if you’re overexerting yourself or working out in a noisy setting, you could be putting your hearing at risk. We review the risks of certain types of exercise and how to exercise safely below.
Do Your Ears Get Plugged When You Exercise?
If so, you’re not alone. The strain of lifting heavy weights creates intracranial pressure, or pressure in the brain, which leads to pressure in the ears – similar to what you’d experience when taking off from LAX. This pressure is even worse if you hold your breath while lifting.
Fortunately, you can prevent this feeling by clearing your ears beforehand by yawning or swallowing, taking deep breaths and not lifting too heavy. You should also avoid strenuous workouts when you’re sick.
Do Your Ears Ring After Exercise?
The pressure in your ears you experience when straining to lift weights can lead to a perilymph fistula (PLF), which is a small tear in the thin membrane between the inner and middle ear that fluid can leak though. Symptoms of PLF include tinnitus, ear fullness, dizziness and hearing sensitivity.
Don’t Smash Your Weights
Weight rooms are noisy, especially if the floors aren’t padded or people aren’t mindful about the proper ways to use weights. In some cases, smashing weights could be as noisy as a shotgun blast or an airbag deploying, which can cause immediate, permanent damage to the sensitive hair cells within the inner ear.
Be Mindful of Music Volume
Whether you’re listening through earbuds or attending an exercise class with music, your ears are at risk of damage if the volume is too loud. This is especially true when combined with the sound of weights smashing, treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes.
If you leave the gym with your ears ringing, it means the music is too loud.
Tips for Working Out While Protecting Your Ears
Below are some tips for working out while protecting your ears:
- Reduce the weight you’re lifting to lower your risk of PLF.
- Don’t hold your breath when exercising, especially if you’re lifting weights.
- Wear earplugs in the gym if you exercise near weightlifters or attend exercise classes.
- Get a hearing test right away if you notice changes in your hearing.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Decibel Hearing today.