You go into the kitchen and you look for a snack. How about a salty treat… what about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. After all, a banana is a much healthier option.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For example, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that your diet could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your danger of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of getting tinnitus too.
That isn’t all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial impact. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted 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 will have an effect on the health of your hearing. It sure seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this study, eating a healthy diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will often mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We will be able to help you figure out (and properly treat) any hearing loss.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it isn’t the final word on the subject. In order to verify and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still need to be done. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for instance.
So we’re far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.