You walk into the kitchen to find a bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.
When it comes to the human body, everything is interconnected. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can escalate 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 journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your danger of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And your risk of getting tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other things, such as exposure to loud sound. That said, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are some substantive and practical insights that we can take from this research:
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on the health of your hearing. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not difficult to see how problems like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to note when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Always speak with your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you determine (and correctly address) any hearing loss.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to make sure volume levels remain safe.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
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 subject to confirm these findings, or to improve them, or challenge them. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It could mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus in the first place. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you pay attention to safeguarding your hearing health as much as possible.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing issues, call us.