You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be yummy.
Maybe you should just go with a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that what you eat could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, sampled a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. The data indicates that your diet could increase or diminish your vulnerability to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing 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 getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein seemed 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 an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to impact your hearing. That said, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an effect on your hearing health. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could lead to issues such as tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this research, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It simply gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your hearing. This will often mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing checked. We can help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it isn’t the last word on the subject. More research needs to be carried out on this subject to validate these conclusions, or to refine them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested methods, and that you concentrate on protecting your ear health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.