Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You go into the kitchen and you find a snack. Will it be something salty… what about crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be yummy.

Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier choice after all.

Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can affect your ears. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can raise your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this notion, suggesting that what you eat could have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.

Your diet and tinnitus

A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your risk of certain inner ear conditions, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, according to the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for developing tinnitus.

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.

That isn’t all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive effect on your hearing.

Does this mean you should change your diet?

You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial impact. Other issues, such as exposure to loud noise, are far more likely to impact your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.

There are several meaningful and useful insights that we can take from this research:

  • Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It just means that your ears are a little more robust. So if you want to reduce the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to protect your ears. This will often mean protecting your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
  • Nutrients are essential: Your diet is going to have an impact on your hearing health. Obviously, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause issues like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We can help you figure out (and correctly treat) any hearing loss.
  • 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 vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be harmful to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you consume.

Real life doesn’t always mirror the research

While this is inspiring research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to validate and improve 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 implying that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven strategies, and that you pay attention to safeguarding your ear health as much as possible.

We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, call us.

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References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tinnitus/symptoms-causes
https://journals.lww.com/ear-hearing/Fulltext/2020/03000/Relationship_Between_Diet,_Tinnitus,_and_Hearing.8.aspx

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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