You walk into the kitchen and you look for a snack. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. After all, 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, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this notion, suggesting that what you eat could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your danger of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming 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 may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. For example, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed pretty good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, like exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should try to maintain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are some substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It simply means that your ears are a bit more robust. So if you want to decrease the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your hearing. This may mean using earmuffs or earplugs to ensure volume levels remain safe.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing checked. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best manage it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be unhealthy.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to take note of when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
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 subject to verify these conclusions, or to refine them, or challenge them. How much of this connection 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. It might mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven methods, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing issues, call us.