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Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You walk into the kitchen and you look for a bite to eat. Are you craving a salty treat… maybe some crackers? Oooo, potato chips! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delicious.

On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. A banana is a healthier option after all.

Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. For instance, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is verifying this idea, suggesting that your diet could have a strong impact on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.

Your diet and tinnitus

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

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your risk of getting tinnitus as well.

And there’s more. This research also indicated that tinnitus symptoms can also be influenced by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein appeared to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also appeared fairly good for your ears.

Does this mean you need to change your diet?

Diet by itself isn’t likely to dramatically change your hearing, and actually, you’d most likely have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, such as exposure to loud noise, are much more likely to impact your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to keep a healthy diet for your general health.

There are a few substantive and practical insights that we can take from this research:

  • Nutrients are essential: 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. So it’s not hard to see how issues like tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to take note of when people aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
  • Protecting your ears takes many strategies: According to this study, eating a good diet can help reduce your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. But that doesn’t mean the overall risk has disappeared. It just gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to lower the chance of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to safeguard your hearing. This will frequently mean safeguarding your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
  • Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing checked. We will help you determine what type and level of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best treat it.
  • Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears 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. Always consult your doctor about any supplements you use because getting too little or too much of these elements can be unhealthy.

Real life doesn’t always echo the research

While this is exciting research, it’s important to mention that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be carried out on this subject to verify these results, or to refine them, or dispute them. We’re not sure, for example, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.

So we’re far from saying a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested strategies, and that you focus on protecting your hearing health as much as possible.

If you’re suffering from tinnitus, give us a call. We can help.

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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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