Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You’re starving so you go to your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Oooo, chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.

Perhaps you should just opt for a banana on second thought. After all, a banana is a much healthier option.

With the human body, everything is connected. So it’s probably not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for instance, it can raise your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that your diet could have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.

Tinnitus and your diet

The official publication of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published research that looked at the diets of a wide variety of individuals. The data indicates that your diet may increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And your chance of developing tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was connected with tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.

That’s not all. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also bring about tinnitus symptoms. For instance, your likelihood of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive effect on your hearing.

Does this suggest you need to change your diet?

Diet alone isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a pretty significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other things, such as exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.

There are a couple of meaningful and useful insights that we can get from this research:

  • Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: Based on this study, eating a healthy diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just means that your ears are a little more resilient. So if you want to reduce the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This will often mean protecting your ears from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best address 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 won’t necessarily 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 essential: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. Clearly, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it’s not hard to see how issues like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with people who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.

Research is one thing, actual life is another

And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and fascinating, it isn’t the last word on the matter. In order to verify and improve the scope of these results, more research will still have to be carried out. 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 not implying that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. It might mean using a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential to take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.

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

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