You go into the kitchen and you look for a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.
With the human body, everything is interconnected. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. For instance, too much sodium can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that your diet could have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and looked closely at their diets. The data shows that your diet might increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
And there’s more. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, such as exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply means that your ears are a bit more resilient. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We will help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. 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 nutrients can be unhealthy.
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. So it isn’t hard to see how problems like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
Research is one thing, real life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to validate these conclusions, or to improve them, or challenge them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for instance.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It may mean using 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 crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you pay attention to safeguarding your ear health as much as you can.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.