by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
A lady wrote:
Since 2002 my hearing has gone down rapidly and during that time I have been into bikram yoga 3 to 4 times a week. This yoga is called “hot yoga,” and is done in a room with a temperature of 105 degrees. It is strenuous work and goes on for one and a half hours.
I really like doing this yoga, it is very detoxifing. When we are through the class, we are basically soaking wet with sweat. It feels great.
I know technically this would not cause hearing to get worse, however, my intuition is telling me that this is causing my hearing to get worse and that I should not do it anymore. Please let me know your thoughts on this. It has been running around in my mind for some time.
The yoga exercises themselves don’t cause hearing loss. However, it is well known that high fevers can, and do, cause hearing loss. in fact, high fevers account for about 1,200 to 1,800 cases of hearing loss in the US each year.
You are essentially simulating a high fever by doing a strenuous workout in a 105 degree room. As you intuitively think, this could well be the problem in your case. (I don’t see anything wrong with your intuition!)
Doing the same yoga exercises in say a 70 degree room likely wouldn’t cause you any problem. Therefore, in your case, if there are no other factors causing the hearing loss (such as heredity, autoimmune diseases, virusus, etc., etc.) the artificially-induced high body temperature may well be the culprit.
I’d do the yoga–but in a much cooler room and see if the hearing loss keeps progressing. If it doesn’t progress any more, then you know it was very likely the high temperatures that did your ears in. Your inner ears may be more sensitive to high temperatures than is the case with the rest of your classmates.