You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. How about a salty treat… what about crackers? Chips sound good! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much healthier choice.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this notion, suggesting that what you eat could have a strong impact on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, observed all kinds of people and took a close look at their diets. The data suggests that your diet could increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of developing tinnitus too.
That’s not all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed pretty good for your ears.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
You would have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a significant effect. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other things, such as exposure to loud noise. That said, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are some meaningful and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels stay safe.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. Clearly, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But more than that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best address it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to confirm and sharpen the scope of these conclusions, more research will still need to be carried out. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for example.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s important that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as possible.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.