The AudioNotch Tinnitus Treatment Blog

Athletes With Tinnitus

Written by AudioNotch Team on October 13, 2015

Please note: the following information does not constitute professional medical advice, and is provided for general informational purposes only. Please speak to your doctor if you have tinnitus.


Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, is a medical condition that affects a large group of people. Often caused by some type of damage to the ears, it is a common condition among both professional and amateur athletes. Athletes with tinnitus often develop the problem because of the loud noises they surround themselves with every day. There are a number of famous athletes who developed hearing problems during their years of playing, which lets those suffering from the condition today know that they are not alone.

Who are Some of the Athletes with Tinnitus?

Katharine Merry is one of the more famous athletes with tinnitus. The bronze medal winner competed at the Sydney Olympics before becoming a commentator in the United Kingdom. She recently spoke out and informed the public that she developed tinnitus as a result of a mistake during a routine ear cleaning procedure. Recent studies found that professional football players have a high risk of developing the condition as well. This may occur because of head injuries they sustained on the field. Those who suffer head injuries, including concussions, are more at risk of developing tinnitus than other players are. Other famous faces diagnosed with the condition include Bob Dylan, Trent Reznor, Paul Simon and Ronald Reagan.

What Causes Tinnitus in Athletes?

Those suffering from tinnitus hear a loud or sharp buzzing sound in their ears when there are no outside stimuli or noise present. As the condition worsens, patients may find that they experience hearing loss. Professional athletes with tinnitus may develop the problem because of concussions and other head injuries or because of the constant pressure put on their ears by loud noises and sounds around them. It can also occur because of persistent ear infections.

How do Doctors Treat Athletes with Tinnitus?

Though there isn’t any form of treatment that will completely cure tinnitus, there are treatments that can significantly reduce its symptoms. Talk and sound therapy programs can help athletes learn how to focus their attention on specific things to ignore the ringing noises they hear. Some professional athletes find it helpful to wear hearing aids while playing as well. Other treatments may include zinc tablets and other supplements or ear wax removal procedures. Athletes playing at the professional level and at the lower levels can find relief from tinnitus, learn how to manage their symptoms and continue playing for years.