Tinnitus, hyperacusis, and singing techniques

It’s well known that the major cause to tinnitus is loud sounds.   Also, a related condition, hyperacusis (painful amplified hearing), is also affected by loud sound.  Lastly, tinnitus and hyperacusis are often precursors to deafness.

Singing techniques can affect the travel of sound throughout the head, and obviously to the ears as well.  The ways of head resonance amplify these sounds as well.

So, it would seem that singing techniques can affect the degree of affected tinnitus and hyperacusis, and possibly even reduce the likelihood of losing one’s hearing.

Though it is known that some tinnitus and hyperacusis suffers’ singning can cause these illnesses, I didn’t find much research on this topic or how singing techniques can reduce tinnitus or hyperacusis.

Does anyone have suggestions, knowledge, resources for research?


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5 Responses to “Tinnitus, hyperacusis, and singing techniques”

  1. Steve james Says:

    I have just developed a ringing in my ears and I think it may well be from my singing. I sing with a head voice where I can feel distinctly that the voice is much louder-in my head. Usually this is when I go into the high voice from the chest voice. Sometimes I will stay in the head voice and not return to the chest.
    Sometimes though I can change the technique and sing up without going so much into the head and the sound then is not nearly as loud in my head. I have long suspected that this may be the more correct way.
    It is sometimes said that when a singer hears his voice loudly in his head it is actually a sign of improper technique. I am beginning now to think this is right and also should be accompanied with a health warning that it also can damage your hearing.

    • webandnet Says:

      Thanks for the comment on tinnitus.

      I agree with you—improper technique can contribute. My belief is that posture contributes more because the inclination angle of the head affects the way that sound travels to the ear and affects the degree and angle of the jaw opening. These two affects influence the volume of sound reaching the ear.

      I found the ways to reduce these are:

      1. good posture to facilitate sending the sound to where desired in upper pallet—to target the sound away from irregular sound pathways to the ear,
      2. by opening up the upper pallet more—letting the sound waves out,
      3. sending head voice through sinuses, not through top of head, which reaches ears easier,
      4. dropping the jaws down more (don’t fully understand why this works. For one, it increases bass tones due to slight drop in larynx; second, it changes the jaw hinges such that less sound travels to the ears).

      I hope these help.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. voicediary Says:

    It is 3. that concerns me. I am not sure I would be able to discern if I were directing the sound through the sinuses and not the top of the head, as to me they seem the same.
    4. I know I have a problem with relaxing the hinges of my jaw. So the dropping is all about finding this sensation of relaxing or releasing tension. It is very interesting this idea that it increases bass tone so less sound travels to the ears. I do have something that may be like this when I lie on my bed, try to relax and feel the jaw dropping onto my chest. Though my mouth really is only slightly open. I have mentioned in my diary that I then feel I cannot put the voice in the head but instead feel it either more in the mouth or on the chest, as my chest voice. But then I would not be able to get any of the sensations of 3. Oh, by the way I am Steve James but this is my new site, which I am now working on. I will soon add all my diary notes for the past years and voice samples. I have a passion for vocal technique.

  3. eheinstein Says:

    I just started a website dedicated to tinnitus and ringing and buzzing in the ears at tinnitusreduction.com… i have tinnitus and sing as well, will do experiments since that what the site is about.

  4. Adam M Says:

    Excellent post here. All three things are very important and should be a concern for vocalists.
    Adam M

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