You go into the kitchen and you find a snack. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier choice obviously.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, suggesting that your diet could have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. The data indicates that your diet might increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other things, like exposure to loud sound. Having said that, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. 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 safeguard your ears. This will often mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing checked. We will be able to help you determine (and correctly manage) any hearing loss.
- 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 susceptibility to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not hard to see how issues such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to note when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the last word on the subject. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these results, more research will still need to be done. 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 suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. We can help.