You’re starving so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… what about crackers? Potato chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.
With the human body, everything is interconnected. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For example, high sodium intake can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
Research 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. The data indicates that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus too.
That isn’t all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.
Does this suggest you should change your diet?
You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a significant impact. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Nutrients are essential: Your overall hearing health is going to be impacted by your diet. It sure seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t hard to see how issues 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 especially true.
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always talk to your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be bad for you.
- Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing checked. We can help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best treat it.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: Based on this research, eating a good diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your hearing. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to make sure volume levels stay safe.
Real life doesn’t always mirror the research
And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to validate and sharpen the scope of these conclusions, more research will still have to be carried out. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It may mean using a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you pay attention to protecting your hearing health as much as you can.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.