You’re starving so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that your diet can impact your ears. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is verifying this idea, suggesting that what you eat could have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, observed all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your risk 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 other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. For instance, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone likely 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 attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
There are several meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We can help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
- 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 nutrients could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health is going to be impacted by what you eat. It sure seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not difficult to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: As reported by this study, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It just means that your ears are a bit more resilient. So if you want to decrease the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the subject. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these conclusions, more research will still have to be done. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for instance.
So we’re a long way from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial to take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.