Image of man and woman running.Regular exercise burns calories, prevents obesity, boosts energy, and can ease depression and anxiety. However, exercise environments – like gyms or fitness clubs – can take a toll on your hearing.

Ruptures And Balance Issues

Excessive pressure in your ears can cause tears or ruptures in the eardrum. Your ears may “pop,” and you begin to feel dizzy, unbalanced, or painful sensations. The mechanisms in your ears regulate your balance, so damage to your eardrum can cause vertigo.

Excess pressure on the ear can result in a perilymphatic fistula – a tear in the membrane between the middle and inner ear. Symptoms include a sense of “fullness” in the ears, pain, and sudden hearing loss. You may not be able to tolerate sudden movements.

Gyms Are Loud

Some people love working out to music, watching TV, or talking to others during their set. But this adds up to a lot of ambient noise that can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

The gym isn’t a quiet place. There are clanging weights, shouting, and ambient or personal music. Extended exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage.

Weight Training And Hearing Loss

You strain muscles and put pressure on your body when you lift weights. You may find you hold your breath to push through a difficult rep. Holding your breath cuts off oxygen to your brain and puts pressure on your ears.

Without the proper supply of oxygen, the blood vessels in your ears will begin to die off and cause hearing loss. The hair cells that transmit audio signals to your brain also require constant oxygen and blood flow to function properly.

Signs You’re Pushing Too Hard

  • Temporary or frequent tinnitus caused by high blood pressure
  • Fullness or pressure in the ears during or after workouts
  • Redness or enlarged veins in the face and neck
  • Immediate soreness after a workout

How To Protect Your Hearing

  • Wear earplugs
  • Turn down your music or wear noise-canceling headphones
  • Practice regulating your breathing
  • Step outside to give your ears a break
  • Make short trips to the gym

Find custom hearing protection at Audiology Services of Marin. Contact us online or call 415-461-9703 for information on our services and hearing aids.