You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a snack. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this idea, indicating that what you eat could have a direct impact on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
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 suggests that your diet could increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For instance, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be reduced 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 mean you should change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, like exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to affect your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are several meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: According to this research, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility 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 bit more robust. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you get less than this. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Nutrients are important: Your general hearing health will be effected by what you eat. Obviously, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. So it’s not difficult to see how problems such as tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to take note of when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these results, more research will still have to be carried out. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for example.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s crucial that you take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.