You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a snack. How about a salty treat… how about crackers? Potato chips sound good! Hold up. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option after all.
With the human body, everything is interconnected. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can raise your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is indicating that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. Your danger of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus too.
And there’s more. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. For example, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial effect on your hearing.
Does this mean you need to change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a fairly severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, like exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to impact your hearing. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this study, eating a good diet can help reduce your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your ears. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels stay safe.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing checked. We will be able to help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health will be impacted by what you eat. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition could lead to problems like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to confirm these results, or to improve them, or dispute them. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you pay attention to protecting your ear health as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.