You go into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier option after all.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. For instance, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. Your risk of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus as well.
That’s not all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.
So should you make a change to your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, like exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to affect your hearing. That said, you should attempt to sustain a healthy diet for your general health.
There are several substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an impact on the health of your hearing. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. So it isn’t hard to see how problems like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. 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 damaging to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you consume.
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will 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 strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It just means that your ears are a little more robust. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels stay safe.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the subject. More research must be conducted on this subject to verify these results, or to improve them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It might mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested methods, and that you focus on safeguarding your hearing health as much as you can.
If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.