You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. How about a salty treat… what about crackers? Chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of people. Your risk of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your chance of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That’s not all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a fairly severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to impact your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an impact on the health of your hearing. It certainly seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to note when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be detrimental to your hearing, so always talk with your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: According to this research, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will often mean protecting your ears from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to verify and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be done. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial to take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.