You walk into the kitchen and you look for a bite to eat. How about a salty treat… how about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier option after all.
With the human body, everything is connected. 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 noticeable. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that looked at the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data indicates that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
Does this suggest you need to change 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 substantial effect. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other things, like exposure to loud noise. Having said that, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to lower the chance of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your hearing. This may mean using earmuffs or earplugs to make sure volume levels stay safe.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best treat it.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health is going to be impacted by what you eat. It certainly seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause issues such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to note when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is inspiring research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these conclusions, more research will still need to be carried out. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. It may mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those facets, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you concentrate on safeguarding your ear health as much as you can.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.