You go into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. How about a salty treat… what about crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
On second thought, 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 huge surprise that what you eat can affect your ears. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is verifying this notion, suggesting that your diet could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official publication 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 disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
Does this suggest you should change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other factors, such as exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. 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 detrimental to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure volume levels remain safe.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health is going to be effected by what you eat. Clearly, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could cause problems such as tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will be able to help you determine (and correctly address) any hearing loss.
Research is one thing, real life is another
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to verify these conclusions, 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 far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. It might mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven strategies, and that you pay attention to safeguarding your hearing health as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.