You walk into the kitchen to find a snack. Will it be something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier option after all.
Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you eat a high sodium diet, for instance, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that your diet could have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed all kinds of people and took a close look at their diets. Your risk of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, according to 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 too.
And there’s more. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
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 modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a significant effect. Other issues, like exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to affect your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels remain safe.
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition can lead to issues such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to take note of when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be damaging to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it’s not the last word on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to confirm these results, or to refine them, or challenge them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for instance.
So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It might mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial to take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.