You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a snack. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Perhaps 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 interconnected. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Current research is indicating that diet can have a strong influence on the development 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 took a close look at their diets. The data shows that what you eat may increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was 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 noted that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
Does this mean you need to change 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 significant impact. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. That said, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on the health of your hearing. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could cause issues such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will be able to help you figure out (and properly treat) any hearing loss.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: As reported by this study, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It just means that your ears are a little more robust. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will often mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
Research is one thing, real life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these conclusions, more research will still need to be carried out. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for instance.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven strategies, and that you focus on safeguarding your hearing health as much as possible.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.