You walk into the kitchen to find a bite to eat. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice obviously.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. 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 instance, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this idea, indicating that your diet could have a direct impact on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official journal 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 might increase or diminish your susceptibility to certain inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
That’s not all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. For instance, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive effect on your hearing.
Does this mean you need to change your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. That said, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your overall health.
There are a few meaningful and practical insights that we can take from this research:
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an impact on your hearing health. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition could cause problems like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more robust. So if you want to decrease the chance of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your ears. This will often mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best treat it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always talk to your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these results, more research will still have to be done. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for instance.
So we’re far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s important that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as possible.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.