Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You go into the kitchen and you look for a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… what about crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be delicious.

Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.

Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you consume a diet high in sodium, for example, it can raise your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.

Your diet and tinnitus

A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. The data shows that your diet may increase or diminish your vulnerability to specific inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, in particular, 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 risk of getting tinnitus as well.

And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty 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 modifying your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial impact. Other issues, such as exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to impact your hearing. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.

There are a few meaningful and practical insights that we can get from this research:

  • Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
  • 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 getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to 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 unhealthy.
  • Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It just means that your ears are a bit more robust. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
  • Nutrients are important: Your general hearing health is going to be impacted by your diet. Clearly, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it’s not difficult to see how issues such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be especially important to note when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.

Research is one thing, real life is another

And, lastly, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it’s not the last word on the topic. More research must be carried out on this topic to confirm these findings, or to improve them, or dispute them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for example.

So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial to take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.

If you’re suffering from tinnitus, contact us. We can help.

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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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