You walk into the kitchen to find a bite to eat. Do you want something salty… what about crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.
With the human body, everything is connected. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that what you eat can affect your ears. If you consume a high sodium diet, for example, it can raise your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your danger of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
That’s not all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to decrease the likelihood of developing tinnitus. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a significant effect. Other issues, like exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to impact your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
There are some meaningful and practical insights that we can get from this research:
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears 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. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Nutrients are essential: Your general hearing health is going to be effected by your diet. It sure seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t difficult to see how problems like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: According to this research, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels remain safe.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the final word on the subject. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these conclusions, more research will still need to be done. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as possible.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.