You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So it’s probably not a big surprise that your diet can impact your ears. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can raise your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that what you eat could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled a wide variety of people and looked closely at their diets. The data shows that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to certain inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, like exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to affect your hearing. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an effect on the health of your hearing. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. So it isn’t hard to see how issues such as tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: As reported by this research, eating a healthy diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be detrimental to your hearing, so always talk with your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We will help you determine what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research needs to be carried out on this topic to verify these results, or to improve them, or dispute them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for example.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. It may mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you concentrate on safeguarding your hearing health as much as you can.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.