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? Potato chips sound good! 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 interconnected. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you eat a high sodium diet, for instance, it can elevate your blood pressure which can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Recent research is indicating that diet can have a direct impact 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 all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. The data suggests that what you eat could increase or diminish your susceptibility to specific inner ear disorders, tinnitus among them. And, according to the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for developing tinnitus.

There were nutrients other than B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of getting tinnitus too.

And there’s more. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. Not surprisingly, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared pretty good for your ears.

So should you make a change to your diet?

Diet alone isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a fairly severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, such as exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to affect your hearing. That said, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your overall health.

This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:

  • Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to make sure volume levels remain safe.
  • Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your hearing healthy. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be harmful to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.
  • Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an impact on the health of your hearing. It sure seems like an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can lead to problems such as tinnitus. This can be particularly important to take note of when individuals aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.

Real life doesn’t always echo the research

While this is inspiring research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. In order to verify and improve the scope of these results, more research will still have to be carried out. We don’t know, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.

So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you take steps to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.

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.

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