You’re starving so you go to your fridge for a snack. Are you craving a salty treat… how about crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Maybe you should just go with a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that your diet can impact your ears. If you consume a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is indicating that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and took a close look at their diets. The data suggests that what you eat might increase or diminish your vulnerability to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That’s not all. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns may also bring about tinnitus symptoms. For example, 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 beneficial impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial impact. Other issues, such as exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to affect your hearing. Having said that, you should try to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best address it.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health will be effected by your diet. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it isn’t hard to see how issues such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will often mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be harmful to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is inspiring research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. In order to validate and sharpen the scope of these results, more research will still need to be done. 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 implying 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. Diet can be one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial to 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.