You go into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… what about crackers? Chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
When it comes to the human body, everything is connected. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For instance, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is verifying this idea, suggesting that your diet could have a direct influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your risk of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive effect 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 changing your diet alone probably won’t have a significant effect. Other problems, such as exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to impact your hearing. That said, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your overall health.
There are several substantive and practical insights that we can take from this research:
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. Clearly, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. This can be especially important to note when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing checked. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best treat it.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always consult your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
Research is one thing, real life is another
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the last word on the topic. More research needs to be carried out on this topic to verify these conclusions, or to refine them, or challenge them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for instance.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. It might mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you concentrate on protecting your hearing health as much as you can.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.