You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Will it be something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be yummy.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice obviously.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can raise your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. The data shows that what you eat could increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. The researchers also observed 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. 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 alone isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should try to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are essential: Your general hearing health will be effected by what you eat. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition can lead to problems such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to note when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: Based on this study, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your vulnerability 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 resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will often mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best address it.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more vulnerable 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 harmful to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the subject. More research needs to be carried out on this subject to validate these conclusions, or to refine them, or challenge them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for example.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. It could mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about proven methods, and that you pay attention to protecting your hearing health as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. We can help.