You walk into the kitchen to look for a snack. How about a salty treat… how about crackers? Chips sound good! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Maybe you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice after all.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this notion, indicating that what you eat could have a direct influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of people. Your danger of specific inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood 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 beneficial effect 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 pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other things, such as exposure to loud noise. That said, you should try to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.
There are a couple of substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Nutrients are important: Your total hearing health will be impacted by what you eat. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. So it’s not difficult to see how problems like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with individuals who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will be able to help you determine (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: Based on this research, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just means that your ears are a bit more resilient. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to make sure noise levels remain safe.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require 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 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always consult your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still need to be carried out. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It could mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential to take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.