Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You walk into the kitchen and you find a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Oooo, chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.

Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice after all.

With the human body, everything is connected. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that your diet can impact your ears. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that what you eat could have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.

Your diet and tinnitus

The official journal of the American Auditory Society, called Ear and Hearing, published a study that observed the diets of a wide variety of individuals. Your risk of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your risk of getting tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.

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

And there’s more. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns could also bring about tinnitus symptoms. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be reduced by a diet high in protein. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.

So should you make a change to your diet?

Diet by itself isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other problems, such as exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to impact your hearing. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.

This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:

  • Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to reduce the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your ears. This will often mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
  • 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 go below this level. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy simply because you get enough B12. Always consult 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 tinnitus or hearing loss. We can help you figure out what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best treat it.
  • Nutrients are essential: Your general hearing health will be impacted by your diet. Obviously, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. So it isn’t difficult to see how problems 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 particularly true.

Real life doesn’t always echo the research

And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it isn’t the last word on the subject. In order to verify and sharpen the scope of these results, more research will still have to be done. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for instance.

So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s important that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you focus on protecting your ear health as much as possible.

We can help, so if you’re suffering from hearing problems, 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.