You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much healthier choice.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that what you eat can affect your ears. For instance, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data shows that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also cause tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this mean you should change 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. Other issues, such as exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to affect your hearing. That said, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing examined. We can help you figure out (and correctly address) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health is going to be impacted by what you eat. It certainly seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not difficult to see how issues like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to note when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Going below that could increase your vulnerability 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 damaging to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: According to this study, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just means that your ears are a bit more resilient. So if you want to lower the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee volume levels stay safe.
Research is one thing, real life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it’s not the last word on the matter. In order to confirm and sharpen the scope of these conclusions, more research will still need to be carried out. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial to take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.