You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option after all.
When it comes to the human body, everything is interconnected. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For instance, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that what you eat could have a strong impact 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 observed the diets of a wide variety of people. The data shows that your diet could increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your risk of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
That isn’t all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to decrease 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.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. 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 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 take.
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an impact on your hearing health. Clearly, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it’s not hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you determine (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: According to this research, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a bit more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure volume levels stay safe.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it isn’t the final word on the subject. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these conclusions, more research will still need to be done. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from saying a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial that you take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.