You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. Of course, a banana is a much healthier option.
With the human body, everything is interconnected. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For instance, high sodium intake can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
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. Your danger of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, especially 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 raise your chances of developing tinnitus too.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also bring about tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive effect on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would need to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone likely won’t have a significant impact. Other issues, like exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to impact your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
There are a couple of meaningful and practical insights that we can take from this research:
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an effect on your hearing health. It sure seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not difficult to see how issues like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to take note of when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this research, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just 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 a comprehensive approach to safeguard your ears. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels stay safe.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will be able to help you figure out (and correctly address) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need 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 simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to validate and sharpen the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be carried out. We don’t know, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated 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 essential that you don’t forget about proven methods, 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.