You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much better health choice.
When it comes to the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. The data suggests that your diet could increase or diminish your vulnerability to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of getting tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns could also cause tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also appeared 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 a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial impact. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. Clearly, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition can lead to issues like tinnitus. This can be particularly important to note when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: As reported by 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 gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels remain safe.
- 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 treat it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you get less than this. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the subject. In order to validate and improve the scope of these conclusions, more research will still have to be carried out. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It might mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven methods, and that you concentrate on protecting your hearing health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.