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Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You’re starving so you look in your fridge for a little bite to eat. Do you want something salty… maybe some crackers? Potato chips sound good! There’s a leftover slice of cheesecake that would be delightful.

Actually, maybe you should just have a banana. Of course, a banana is a much healthier option.

With the human body, everything is connected. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that your diet can impact your ears. For example, too much sodium can elevate blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Research is adding weight to this idea, indicating that your diet could have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.

Tinnitus and your diet

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

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your chance of getting tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.

That isn’t all. The researchers also reported that dietary patterns may also cause tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the risk of developing tinnitus. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed pretty good for your ears.

So should you make a change to 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 impact. Your hearing is far more likely to be impacted by other factors, such as exposure to loud noise. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.

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

  • Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, get your hearing examined. We can help you figure out (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
  • Nutrients are essential: Your overall hearing health is going to be effected by your diet. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it isn’t hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be a result of poor nutrition. And with individuals who are lacking the vital vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is especially true.
  • Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more vulnerable to tinnitus if you get less than this. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. 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.
  • Protecting your ears takes many strategies: Based on this research, eating a healthy diet can help lower your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It just means that your ears are a bit more robust. So if you want to decrease the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your hearing. This might mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels stay safe.

Research is one thing, actual life is another

While this is inspiring research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research must be conducted on this topic to validate these findings, or to refine them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for instance, how much of this connection 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 appearing in the first place may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about established strategies.

If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. 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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