You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
When it comes to the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For instance, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Recent research is suggesting that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. Your danger of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And your risk of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. The researchers also noted 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.
Does this mean you need to change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. That said, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: Based on this study, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability 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 robust. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your ears from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We can help you determine (and correctly manage) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always talk with your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health will be effected by your diet. Obviously, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition could lead to problems like tinnitus. This can be particularly important to take note of when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
While this is inspiring research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be carried out on this topic to verify these results, or to improve them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing in the first place could 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 established methods.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.