You know that saunas can help you relax. The extreme heat helps aching muscles and joints. It may leave you feeling refreshed. But could regular saunas also help tinnitus?
Let’s take a look at what researchers found.
What They’ve Found
The University of Eastern Finland had a report published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) that had some interesting findings. They studied a statistically relevant sample of 2300 middle-aged men over a 20 year period. They divided the men into three groups based upon their sauna behaviors like frequency, duration, and heat.
Saunaing is very popular in this Northern country, so the average behavior among all groups was 175°F once a week for 14 minutes.
The key findings were that the men’s risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke had dropped so significantly that the men who saunaed regularly stayed much more healthy, thus lowering their risk of death.
The sauna was lowering the men’s blood pressure and inflammation while strengthening their blood vessels. Other studies on both men and women support the study’s findings. Some studies have also found reductions in dementia rates.
What’s this have to do with Tinnitus?
How Saunas Help Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a symptom, not a disease. It can be caused by many health challenges like tumors, ear infection, wax buildup, extreme sound exposure. But regardless of the cause, it’s most commonly the result of reduced blood flow to the middle ear. Because of this, high blood pressure is well-known to aggravate and worsen tinnitus.
Increasing the ease with which blood can reach and nourish the inner ear can reduce tinnitus symptoms. Lowering your blood pressure and strengthening your blood vessels does this.
More studies are needed to measure the impacts on tinnitus scientifically, but the existing studies give tinnitus-sufferers a new and promising option for reducing tinnitus.
How Saunas Work
The reason that saunas might help tinnitus is tied to their stress-reduction benefits including:
- Removing excess salt and cholesterol from the body through the sweat
- Relaxing muscles
- Easing joint pain, making it more comfortable to move and stay active
- Improving sleep patterns as sleep deprivation has been strongly linked to high stress
- Social and recreational benefits when in a group sauna environment
- Fortifying the immune system as German scientists found that those who sauna produce white blood cells faster
When you start or end your day with a sauna, you’ll feel less stressed and likely find reduced tinnitus as well.
Getting Access to a Sauna
Saunas can regularly be accessed by getting a gym membership at a health club with a sauna. Be sure to check if the sauna is part of your plan. Some gyms charge extra!
If you’re planning to move to a senior community, find out if saunas are among the amenities. This feature may be a selling point for you.
Home saunas are surprisingly affordable if you have the room for it. They’re becoming more popular as more people learn about the health benefits.
They use much less energy than you would think. A small 2-3 person sauna uses about 1 KWh (Kilowatts per hour). This includes the time it takes the sauna to heat up. 1KWh costs around 12 cents.
More extreme people opt for a DIY project. They build the sauna in their backyard. You can find out how to build a sauna online.
While research shows that saunas have many help benefits including those that could help your tinnitus, there are also some risks to be aware of. These are easy to avoid with simple precautions. Get the most out of the sauna experience when you:
- Drink plenty of water before saunaing
- Always take a bottle of water into the sauna with you
- Never deny yourself water if you feel thirsty while in the sauna
- Sauna with a friend whenever possible
- If you’re building a sauna, it should always have an emergency shut off on the inside
- Leave the sauna if you feel sleepy, nauseated or faint
- Never sauna while intoxicated
- Work your way up to top temperatures
By following these safety guidelines you can get the benefits of a sauna while reducing the risks. If you’re suffering from tinnitus speak with an audiologist about treatment options before jumping in the sauna.