You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delightful.
Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier choice obviously.
With the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For instance, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Current 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 individuals. The data suggests that what you eat could increase or diminish your vulnerability to certain inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.
There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.
That’s not all. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. For instance, 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 appeared fairly good for your ears.
Does this suggest you need to change your diet?
You would have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Other problems, such as exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to impact your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.
This research has uncovered some practical and meaningful insights:
- Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Always speak with your physician 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 evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will be able to help you figure out (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an effect on your hearing health. It certainly seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it’s not difficult to see how issues like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to note when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
- Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee volume levels remain safe.
Research is one thing, real life is another
While this is inspiring research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be conducted on this topic to verify these conclusions, or to refine them, or dispute them. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s important that you don’t forget about proven strategies, and that you focus on safeguarding your ear health as much as possible.
We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, call us.