You walk into the kitchen and you find a snack. Are you craving a salty treat… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option after all.
Everything is interconnected 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. Recent research is indicating that diet can 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 a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data suggests that what you eat might increase or diminish your vulnerability to certain inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of getting tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns could also bring about tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial effect on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other factors, such as exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. Clearly, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it’s not difficult to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will be able to help you figure out (and correctly manage) any hearing loss.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: According to this research, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your hearing. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels stay safe.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it isn’t the final word on the subject. More research must be conducted on this subject to validate these conclusions, or to refine them, or dispute them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for example.
So we’re far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s essential to take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.