You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
When it comes to the human body, everything is connected. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for example, it can raise your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of people. Your risk of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your chance of getting tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were 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 could also cause tinnitus symptoms. 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 positive impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. That said, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
There are a couple of meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing tested. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best treat it.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: According to this study, eating a healthy diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It simply means that your ears are a bit more resilient. So if you want to decrease the chance of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your hearing. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. 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. Always consult your physician about any supplements you use 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 your hearing health. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the matter. More research must be conducted on this subject to validate these results, or to improve them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. We can help.