Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You walk into the kitchen and you find a snack. How about a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato 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.

When it comes to the human body, everything is connected. So the fact that what you eat can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. For instance, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is verifying this idea, suggesting that what you eat could have a direct influence on the development of tinnitus.

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. The data suggests that what you eat could increase or diminish your vulnerability to certain inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. 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 linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too high in fat, calcium, and iron.

That’s not all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, 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 impact on your hearing.

Does this suggest you need to 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 probably won’t have a substantial 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 keep a healthy diet for your overall health.

There are several meaningful and practical insights that we can take from this research:

  • Nutrients are important: Your overall hearing health will be effected by your diet. It certainly seems as if an overall 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 getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing tinnitus or hearing loss. We will help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re coping 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 susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.
  • Protecting your ears takes many strategies: As reported by this research, eating a good diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will frequently mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs

Research is one thing, real life is another

While this is inspiring research, it’s important to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to confirm and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still need to be done. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.

So we’re a long way from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It might mean taking a multi-faceted approach in order to prevent tinnitus from the start. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about proven strategies, and that you focus on safeguarding your ear health as much as you can.

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

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