You go into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier choice obviously.
With the human body, everything is connected. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this notion, suggesting that your diet could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. The data suggests that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed fairly good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other things, like exposure to loud sound. That said, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your overall health.
There are several meaningful and practical insights that we can get from this research:
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you determine (and correctly treat) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are important: Your total hearing health is going to be impacted by your diet. It certainly seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause problems like tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this study, eating a healthy diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels remain safe.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it’s not the final word on the matter. More research must be carried out on this topic to verify these results, or to refine them, or dispute them. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. It may mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you concentrate on protecting your ear health as much as possible.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.