You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For example, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this idea, indicating that what you eat could 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 a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of people. The data shows that your diet could increase or diminish your vulnerability to certain inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That’s not all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
You would have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. That said, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are essential: Your overall hearing health is going to be impacted by your diet. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. So it’s not hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: Based on this study, eating a healthy diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has gone away. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your ears. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels remain safe.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always speak with your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be unhealthy.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We will be able to help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the topic. In order to validate and improve the scope of these results, more research will still need to be carried out. We don’t know, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you concentrate on protecting your ear health as much as possible.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.