You’re starving so you go to your fridge for a snack. Are you craving a salty treat… what about crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
With the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For example, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this notion, suggesting that your diet could have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and took a close look at their diets. The data shows that your diet might increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also cause tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
Does this suggest you should change your diet?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial impact. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. Having said that, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are important: Your total hearing health is going to be effected by what you eat. It certainly seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not difficult to see how issues like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: Based on this research, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your hearing. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing 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. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be unhealthy.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it’s not the last word on the matter. More research must be carried out on this topic to confirm these findings, or to improve them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this connection 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. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.