You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be yummy.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that what you eat can affect your ears. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can elevate your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that your diet could have a strong impact 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 people. The data shows that what you eat could increase or diminish your susceptibility to certain inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty 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 in fact, you’d most likely have to have a fairly severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, like exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to affect your hearing. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you figure out (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: According to this study, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to make sure volume levels remain safe.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an impact on your hearing health. It certainly seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to verify these results, or to refine them, or dispute them. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It might mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet is one of those facets, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.