You walk into the kitchen to find a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. If you eat a high sodium diet, for instance, it can raise your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is indicating that diet can have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your risk of specific inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.
That’s not all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the likelihood 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?
Diet alone isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, like exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing tested. We will be able to help you determine (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an impact on your hearing health. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it’s not hard to see how problems like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with individuals who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: According to this study, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels remain safe.
- 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 susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
Research is one thing, real life is another
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it’s not the last word on the subject. More research must be carried out on this subject to confirm these findings, or to refine them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. It might mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you pay attention to protecting your ear health as much as you can.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.