Spring break is approaching. Either you have decided to finally get that fit body you always wanted or you just want to start exercising more for your overall health. There is no denying that exercise is beneficial to the body and mind. Before starting to be careful, because that new exercise program is causing hearing loss.
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CrossFit and PLFs
Fitness programs designed to push the body to its limit, such as CrossFit which has gained a cult following across the nation, can have negative consequences for your hearing if you are not careful. CrossFit and other intense “boot camp” style programs combine weightlifting, cardio, core training and more can deliver results in the form of peak physical fitness. But some participants are paying a high price for getting in shape.
Here are two practices to avoid when taking part in CrossFit-
- Breath holding
Sometimes as a result of intense staining and breath holding during the workout, a perilymphatic fistula occurs. Also called PLF, this is the small rip in the membrane that divides the inner and middle ear. PLF’s happen unexpectedly and are not always detected immediately.
Why it is important?
You may be asking, “What does exercise have to do with my ears?” To illustrate, let’s look at two common practices that can occur during weightlifting. The first of these is straining. Straining causes intracranial pressure (pressure within the brain) which in turn leads to pressure within the ears. The next is breath holding, which some profess gives them an extra boost while lifting by solidifying the core and supporting the spine. However what happens when you hold your breath? More pressure in the inner ear.
The pressure in the inner ear can lead to changes in hearing during or after intense exercise as a result of perilymphatic fistula. A PLF is a small tear or defect in the thin membrane between the inner ear and the middle ear. The tear itself can be caused by the pressure in the inner ear due to straining. Hearing changes occur when the strain of subsequent workouts causes fluid from the inner ear to leak through the tear and into the middle ear.
Here are some you need to do for better hearing
- Get a hearing check immediately if you experience any change in hearing during or after exercise.
- Reduce the weight you’re lifting to reduce strain. Reducing the strain could possibly prevent a PLF from occurring.
- Protect your hearing in the gym. Wear earplugs to safeguard against loud music or keep headphones at a reasonable volume to avoid noise-induced hearing loss.
Here are some you don’t need to do for better hearing
- Hold your breath to get that extra boost of strength, as holding your breath increases the pressure within the ears.
- Don’t strain during weight lifting.
- Participate in sports which can result in blows to the head, such as boxing or wrestling, if you are experiencing changes in your hearing.
- Bang or drop the weights when lifting. That sudden noise can reach a level as high as 140 decibels, which is like being exposed to a gunshot or explosion.
- Ignore the symptoms of hearing loss.
Be sure of the dangers to your hearing health, don’t shy away from efforts to get fit and healthy. If you experience feelings of fullness in the muffled hearing, ears, tinnitus after intense exercise, get help from hearing healthcare professional nearby. Or you can browse our website to know more about it.