Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a snack. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! There’s a leftover piece of cheesecake that would be yummy.

Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.

With the human body, everything is interconnected. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.

Tinnitus and your diet

A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and took a close look at their diets. Your danger of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.

There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.

And there’s more. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.

Does this suggest you should change your diet?

You would have to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone likely won’t have a significant effect. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other factors, like exposure to loud noise. Having said that, you should try to maintain a healthy diet for your general health.

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

  • Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always speak with your physician about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
  • Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
  • Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. It certainly seems like a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause problems like tinnitus. This can be particularly important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.
  • Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just means that your ears are a bit more resilient. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs

Real life doesn’t always echo the research

While this is exciting research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. In order to validate and improve the scope of these results, more research will still need to be done. How much of this relationship 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 prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take steps to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.

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

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