Turning Deaf or Blind from Masturbation | Myth or Reality?

Published: Mar 20, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Check on hearing loss

There are a lot of myths about the negative effects of masturbation, some of which came into existence simply to scare people off to engage in “immoral practices,” others because of ignorance and misinformation, and again others that have some kind of truth attached to it.

As it is, in several cultures and in many eras of human civilization, and usually out of cultural or religious motives, masturbation has been considered an immoral act. Hence, more or less deliberately the appropriate “authorities” proclaimed that masturbation is not only ethically wrong but also dangerous.

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These “dangers” could be manifold, including things like deafness, blindness, baldness, prostate cancer, damage to the genitals or other body organs, mental illnesses, pimples in the face (acne), memory loss, infertility, erectile dysfunction (ED), or going to hell after one dies.

At any rate, everything that’s done in excess can cause certain negative side effects. As for masturbating very frequently or excessively, the risks on hygiene issues (because of not properly washed hands or cleansed sex toys) may increase and could cause bacterial infections, skin irritation or pains could arise because of too much friction and rubbing, or edema (swelling) on the penis, reduced libido, and extreme tiredness or exhaustion, among other issues.

And, of course, incorrect use of sex toys may indeed cause damage to the genitals, or to other areas where one masturbates, such as the anal canal and rectum.

In rare occasions, men experience post orgasmic illness syndrome (POIS), which can cause muscle pains, fatigue, weakness and other symptoms following an orgasm and ejaculation (symptoms may last for a week). Nevertheless, this can happen after masturbation or sexual intercourse, and is not necessarily bound to the masturbation practice.

As for mental illness, well, because masturbation is often culturally or religiously stigmatized, one might feel guilty when masturbating, which could lead to anxiety, depression, and trauma. So, it’s not masturbation itself that causes mental illness, but feeling guilty about doing it, or perhaps even because thinking that one is indeed mentally ill because one masturbates.

Two of the most persistent “dangers” still very much considered today are those of turning deaf or blind, or at least risking some degree of hearing loss or vision loss due to masturbation.

Nevertheless, it’s true that some people experience some kind of temporary disruption of their sight or hearing ability (blurred vision, ringing in the ears, tinnitus, hearing loss, etc.) after they have an orgasm (usually several minutes or so, but sometimes longer, even days), which counts for both men and women. The causes are not (scientifically) clear, but some things have been said about it that perhaps could explain these phenomena.

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For instance, on extremely rare occasions very vigorous masturbation can increase blood flow and heart rate in such a degree that a blood vessel in the eye may pop. Yet, this could happen in any kind of vigorous activity.

As masturbation is actually a kind of cardiovascular workout, it may also increase blood pressure and eye pressure which can cause brief instances of blurred vision. Blurred vision immediately after masturbation may also happen, which is typically related to a drop in blood pressure.

There’s also the idea that masturbation (and ejaculation) can lead to a loss of nutrients that are involved in maintaining good eyesight, but the amount of semen lost through masturbation is too insignificant to have any considerable effects and can easily be replaced by a normal, healthy diet.

As for hearing issues, there’s the suggestion that the rapid reduction in heart rate and blood pressure after an orgasm results in sudden pressure changes in the middle ear and reduction of blood flow to the inner ear affecting the hearing nerves, which could cause ringing, tinnitus, or impaired hearing.

In any case, there’s no scientific evidence that masturbation can actually make you deaf or blind. Nonetheless, excessive or compulsive masturbation or incorrect masturbation (insufficient hygiene, faulty use of sex toys, etc.) can lead to a broad range of side effects or problems (like anything one does in excess), which may include hearing or visual impairments.

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