You walk into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be yummy.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much healthier option.
When it comes to the human body, everything is interconnected. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For instance, high sodium intake can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is adding weight to this idea, indicating that your diet could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your risk of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk 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 influenced by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. 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 have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other factors, like exposure to loud noise. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your hearing. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels stay safe.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. 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 damaging to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an impact on your hearing health. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to note when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you determine what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is inspiring research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research needs to be carried out on this topic to confirm these conclusions, or to improve them, or challenge them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for example.
So we’re not implying 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. Diet is one of those facets, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you pay attention to protecting your hearing health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.