You walk into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be yummy.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, high sodium intake can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Recent research is suggesting that diet can have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of people. The data suggests that your diet might increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected 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 bring about tinnitus symptoms. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed fairly good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to significantly 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 affected by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. Having said that, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has uncovered 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. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. Obviously, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition can cause problems like tinnitus. This can be particularly important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best treat it.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to lower the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This will often mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
Research is one thing, actual life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be conducted on this topic to confirm these conclusions, or to improve them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It may mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential to take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.