Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… what about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.

Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. Of course, a banana is a much better health option.

Everything is interrelated in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you consume a high sodium diet, for example, it can raise your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that what you eat could have a direct influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.

Your diet and tinnitus

The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your danger of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, based on the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.

There were nutrients other than B12 that were connected with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of getting tinnitus as well.

And there’s more. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the likelihood of developing tinnitus. Not surprisingly, 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?

Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d probably have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, like exposure to loud noise, are much 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 get from this research:

  • Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your hearing healthy. 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 consult your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
  • Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. It certainly seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But more than that, we can easily see how malnutrition can lead to issues like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you figure out (and correctly treat) any hearing loss.
  • Protecting your ears takes many approaches: As reported by this study, eating a good diet can help lower your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to decrease the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This may mean using earmuffs or earplugs to ensure volume levels stay safe.

Real life doesn’t always echo the research

And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be done. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.

So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. It may mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to avoid tinnitus in the first place. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.

If you’re experiencing tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.

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