You go into the kitchen to look for a snack. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Potato chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Maybe you should just go with a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier option.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this notion, suggesting that what you eat could have a direct influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. Your danger of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. 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. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial effect on your hearing.
So should you make a change to 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 significant impact. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other things, such as exposure to loud noise. Having said that, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are a few substantive and practical insights that we can take from this research:
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: According to this study, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just means that your ears are a bit more robust. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always talk to your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be unhealthy.
- Nutrients are essential: Your overall hearing health is going to be effected by your diet. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t difficult to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will be able to help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
Research is one thing, real life is another
And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to validate 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 relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. 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 crucial that you take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.