You’re starving so you go to your fridge for a snack. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice after all.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, sampled a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. Your danger of specific inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus too.
That’s not all. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. For example, your likelihood 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 appeared pretty good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a significant impact. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. That said, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are a couple of substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always talk to your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health will be impacted by your diet. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could cause problems such as tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has gone away. It just means that your ears are a bit more robust. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your ears. This will often mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the last word on the topic. In order to confirm and sharpen the scope of these conclusions, 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 established, for example.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It might mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. Diet is one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing issues, call us.