You walk into the kitchen and you find a snack. How about a salty treat… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier choice after all.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For instance, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that what you eat could have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.
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 people. Your risk of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. 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 increase your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the risk 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?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial effect. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other things, such as exposure to loud sound. Having said that, you should try to keep a healthy diet for your overall health.
There are some substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health is going to be impacted by what you eat. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to problems such as tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always consult your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be unhealthy.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best treat it.
- Protecting your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this research, eating a healthy diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has gone away. It just means that your ears are a bit more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This may mean using earmuffs or earplugs to make sure volume levels remain safe.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
While this is inspiring research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research needs to be carried out on this subject to validate these findings, or to refine them, or challenge them. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. It could mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial that you take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.