You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a snack. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Maybe you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice after all.
With the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For instance, high sodium intake can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
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 conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your risk of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to decrease the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this mean you need to change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other things, such as exposure to loud sound. Having said that, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
There are a couple of substantive and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Nutrients are important: Your general hearing health will be effected by your diet. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to take note of when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best manage it.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee volume levels stay safe.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. In order to validate and sharpen the scope of these conclusions, more research will still have to be done. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from saying a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.