You walk into the kitchen to find a bite to eat. How about a salty treat… how about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier option 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. For instance, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Current research is indicating that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. The data suggests that your diet could increase or diminish your susceptibility to certain inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of developing tinnitus too.
And there’s more. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a fairly severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other things, like exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
There are some meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: According to this study, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It simply gives you better odds of preventing 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 hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health will be effected by your diet. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition could cause problems like tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always consult your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
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 matter. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be carried out. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It might mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven methods, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as you can.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.