You’re feeling hungry so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Will it be something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
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 increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. The data shows that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase 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 chances of developing tinnitus as well.
And there’s more. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed fairly good for your ears.
So should you make a change to your diet?
You would need to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone probably won’t have a significant effect. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other things, like exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
There are a couple of meaningful and useful insights that we can get from this research:
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: According to this research, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It simply means that your ears are a bit more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee volume levels stay safe.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We will be able to help you determine (and correctly treat) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health will be impacted by your diet. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it isn’t hard to see how issues like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
- Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it isn’t the final word on the topic. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be done. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It might mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you pay attention to safeguarding your hearing health as much as possible.
If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.