Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner
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Hello Dr. Nagler and thank you for this website and more importantly thank you for your time. I have had tinnitus since the age of 18 I am 43 now. My tinnitus never really bothered me all that much until recently. 3 months ago the volume increased and the pitch became extremely high almost unbearable at times now it interferes with my everyday life. I noticed in a past Q&A on this site that you mentioned you once were an avid runner even a marathoner if memory serves me right. I have run for many years and still run 15 miles per week as well as play basketball and other “old man” sports through out the year. I’ve read a couple articles that have claimed that high impact exercises can cause tinnitus and or make it worse. I was wondering if in your studies / knowledge if you have ever come across anything that would substantiate these claims? I posted one of the articles from the New York Times below. I understand that trying to figure out what has caused your tinnitus is like having a screen door installed on your submarine but I’m still curious. Thank you again for your valuable time Doctor.
Dr. Nagler

Posts: 1,764
Hello, JayD. I really love your screen door on the submarine analogy!

So here's the thing. 20% of the population has tinnitus. In fact, 100% has it if you include tinnitus that can only be detected in a soundproof room upon purposely seeking it, but let's stick with 20% for now. And, given the vast number of people who participate in all sorts of high impact exercise, what that means is that it is very hard to draw any sort of meaningful conclusion about causal relationship between the tinnitus and high impact exercise. As for me personally, I do not believe that my marathon running had anything to do with my tinnitus - and if I didn't have a pair of 90-year-old knees on this 70-year-old body of mine, likely I'd still be out there running. On the other hand, the fact that for many years I was in the habit of listening to loud music through headphones while on my long training runs may well have played a significant role.  

All the best -

Stephen M. Nagler, M.D


The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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Dr. Nagler's Tinnitus Corner is provided for education and information only. It is not intended for the purpose of providing medical care and should in no way substitute for appropriate in-person consultations with qualified healthcare professionals. By using this site, participants agree to hold Dr. Nagler and Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC harmless with respect to any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage arising from following the postings herein.