You walk into the kitchen and you look for a snack. Will it be something salty… how about 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 choice obviously.
When it comes to the human body, everything is interconnected. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that your diet can impact your ears. If you consume a high sodium diet, for example, it can raise your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, suggesting that what you eat could have a direct 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 looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. The data shows that what you eat may increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of getting tinnitus too.
That isn’t all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, such as exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to affect your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are some meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an effect on your hearing health. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t difficult to see how issues like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best address it.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. 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 require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. Getting less than that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it isn’t the final word on the topic. In order to confirm and sharpen the scope of these findings, more research will still need to be carried out. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. It may mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial to take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.