You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For instance, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Recent research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data shows that what you eat might increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a fairly 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 sound. That said, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.
There are some meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:
- 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 research. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing checked. We can help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
- 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 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. 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 total hearing health is going to be effected by your diet. It certainly seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition could cause problems like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
Real life doesn’t always echo the research
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the last word on the topic. In order to validate and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still need to be carried out. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for instance.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. It may mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial to take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.