You go into the kitchen and you look for a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier option.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For example, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this idea, suggesting that what you eat could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
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 specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And your risk of getting tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. 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. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial effect on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. That said, you should try to keep a healthy diet for your overall health.
There are a couple of substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It simply means that your ears are a bit more robust. So if you want to lower the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your hearing. This will frequently 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. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing tested. We will help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best address it.
- Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health is going to be effected by your diet. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it’s not hard to see how problems like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the last word on the topic. More research needs to be carried out on this topic to validate these results, or to refine them, or dispute them. 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 a long way 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 tried and tested strategies, and that you concentrate on protecting your hearing health as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. We can help.