You walk into the kitchen to look for a snack. Are you craving a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.
When it comes to the human body, everything is interconnected. So it’s probably not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For example, high sodium intake can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Recent research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of people. Your risk of specific inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing 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 influenced by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
Does this suggest you should change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, 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, such as exposure to loud noise. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has revealed 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. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always consult your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
- Protecting 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 just means that your ears are a little more resilient. So if you want to decrease the chance of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Nutrients are important: Your total hearing health will be effected by what you eat. It certainly seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t difficult to see how issues 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 especially true.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the final word on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this subject to validate these findings, or to improve them, or challenge them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven methods, and that you concentrate on safeguarding your ear health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.