You walk into the kitchen and you find a snack. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option after all.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can raise your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that your diet could have a strong influence 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 shows that what you eat might increase or diminish your vulnerability to certain inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of getting tinnitus too.
That’s not all. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to decrease the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial impact. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to affect your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced 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 resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will often mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always talk to your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
- Nutrients are important: Your general hearing health is going to be impacted by your diet. It sure seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition could lead to issues like tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We will be able to help you figure out (and correctly manage) any hearing loss.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
While this is inspiring research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be carried out on this topic to validate these results, or to refine them, or dispute them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for example.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. It could mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.