You walk into the kitchen to find a snack. Are you craving a salty treat… what about crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much healthier option.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus symptoms.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data indicates that what you eat could increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, 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 linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of getting tinnitus too.
That’s not all. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For instance, 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 beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other things, such as exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be detrimental to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. So it isn’t hard 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.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has gone away. It just means that your ears are a little more resilient. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This will frequently mean protecting your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the last word on the topic. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these results, more research will still have to be done. How much of this connection 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 surfacing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s crucial to take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.