You go into the kitchen and you look for a bite to eat. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.
On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier option obviously.
With the human body, everything is connected. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can impact your ears. For instance, high sodium intake can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Recent research is suggesting that diet can have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.
Tinnitus and your diet
A study 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. Your risk of specific inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of getting tinnitus too.
And there’s more. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be impacted by dietary patterns. For example, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.
Does this mean 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 likely won’t have a significant effect. Other problems, such as exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should try to keep a healthy diet for your overall health.
This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:
- Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you determine (and correctly address) any hearing loss.
- Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an impact on your hearing health. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause problems like tinnitus. And with individuals who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
- Protecting your ears takes many strategies: Based on this research, eating a good diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It simply means that your ears are a little more robust. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to make sure noise levels remain safe.
- 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 getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take.
Research is one thing, actual life is another
While this is exciting research, it’s significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research needs to be carried out on this subject to verify these results, or to improve them, or challenge them. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.
So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial to take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.
We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.
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