You walk into the kitchen and you find a snack. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Maybe you should just go with 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 come as a surprise. For instance, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Current research is indicating that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. Your risk of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of developing tinnitus too.
That isn’t all. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns could also cause tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone likely won’t have a significant effect. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other things, like exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
There are several substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be harmful to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: Based on this study, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It just means that your ears are a little more resilient. So if you want to decrease the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Nutrients are essential: Your general hearing health will be impacted by your diet. It sure seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to issues like tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We will be able to help you determine (and properly address) any hearing loss.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the final word on the subject. More research needs to be carried out on this topic to verify these findings, or to refine them, or challenge them. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place 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.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.