You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… what about crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier option.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is adding weight to this idea, suggesting that what you eat could have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled a wide variety of people and looked closely at their diets. Your risk of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood 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 effect on your hearing.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a significant effect. Other issues, such as exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to impact your hearing. That said, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will help you determine what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best treat it.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply means that your ears are a bit more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This may mean using earmuffs or earplugs to make sure noise levels stay safe.
- Nutrients are essential: Your overall hearing health will be effected by your diet. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition could lead to issues like tinnitus. This can be especially important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- 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 vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the final word on the topic. More research needs to be carried out on this topic to confirm these findings, or to improve them, or challenge them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for instance.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It could mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. Diet is one of those facets, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.