You walk into the kitchen to find a snack. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.
When it comes to the human body, everything is connected. So it’s probably not a big surprise that your diet can impact your ears. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. The data shows that what you eat might increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of developing tinnitus too.
And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. For instance, 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.
Does this mean you should change your diet?
Diet alone isn’t likely to drastically 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 affected by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. Having said that, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: As reported by this research, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
- Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best manage it.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. Going below that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always consult your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
- Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health will be effected by your diet. It sure seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can easily see how malnutrition can lead to problems like tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the matter. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to confirm these conclusions, or to refine them, or challenge them. 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 far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It could mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven strategies, and that you focus on protecting your hearing health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.