You walk into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be yummy.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. Of course, a banana is a much healthier choice.
With the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is indicating that diet can have a direct influence 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 looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. Your risk of specific inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of getting tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the likelihood of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed pretty good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to affect your hearing. That said, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. 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 speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out (and correctly treat) any hearing loss.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: Based on this research, eating a healthy diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to decrease the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your hearing. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. It sure seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition could cause issues such as tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
Research is one thing, real life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this subject to confirm these findings, or to improve them, or dispute them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for instance.
So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.