You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For instance, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is verifying this notion, suggesting that what you eat could have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled 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 developing tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
That isn’t all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood 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 beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
You would have 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 impact. 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 discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: According to this research, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It simply gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels stay safe.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will be able to help you determine (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. 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.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t difficult to see how problems like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to note when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
Research is one thing, real life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research must be conducted on this topic to validate these conclusions, or to improve 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 appearing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential that you take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. We can help.