You go into the kitchen to look for a snack. Are you craving a salty treat… how about 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 after all.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that your diet can impact your ears. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is indicating that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your danger of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That isn’t all. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns could also bring about tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a significant impact. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other things, like exposure to loud sound. Having said that, you should try to keep a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to reduce the chance of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your hearing. This will often mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could cause problems such as tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best treat it.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the topic. In order to confirm and sharpen the scope of these findings, 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 determined, for example.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.