You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. How about a salty treat… how about crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delightful.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much healthier option.
When it comes to the human body, everything is interconnected. 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 example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your risk of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
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 changing your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial impact. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. 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 decrease the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your hearing. 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 example) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. 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 harmful to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition could lead to problems like tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
While this is inspiring research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research needs to be carried out on this subject to validate these conclusions, or to refine them, or challenge them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for instance.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing in the first place could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you focus on safeguarding your ear health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing issues, call us.