You’re starving so you go to 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. Of course, a banana is a much healthier choice.
Everything is interconnected in the human body. So it’s probably not a big surprise that your diet can affect your ears. For example, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that your diet could have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Your diet and tinnitus
A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and looked closely at their diets. The data indicates that what you eat could increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And your chance of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of getting tinnitus too.
That isn’t all. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also cause tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.
Does this mean you need to change your diet?
Diet by itself isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a fairly significant 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. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. Clearly, your hearing will be benefited by a balanced diet. So it’s not hard to see how issues like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears 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 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you determine (and correctly treat) any hearing loss.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just means that your ears are a bit more resilient. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
Research is one thing, real life is another
While this is inspiring research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be conducted on this subject to verify these conclusions, or to improve them, or challenge them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for example.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. It could mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. Diet is one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you pay attention to safeguarding your hearing health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.