You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much better health choice.
With the human body, everything is interconnected. So it’s probably not a big surprise that your diet can affect your ears. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Current research is indicating that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data indicates that what you eat could increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
That isn’t all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also appeared 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?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other factors, like exposure to loud noise. That said, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: Based on this research, eating a good diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It just means that your ears are a bit more robust. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels remain safe.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause 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 significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be done. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested methods, and that you concentrate on safeguarding your ear health as much as possible.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.