You go into the kitchen to find a snack. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For instance, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is adding weight to this idea, suggesting that your diet could have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
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. Your risk of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That’s not all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed fairly good for your ears.
Does this mean you should 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 likely won’t have a substantial effect. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has discovered 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. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We can help you determine (and correctly address) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are important: Your total hearing health will be impacted by your diet. It certainly seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could lead to issues like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to verify and improve the scope of these results, more research will still have to be done. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It could mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. Diet is one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven methods, and that you pay attention to protecting your hearing health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.