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Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You walk into the kitchen to look for a snack. How about a salty treat… what about crackers? Oooo, chips! Hold up. Maybe this leftover slice 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 maybe it’s not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this notion, suggesting that your diet could have a strong impact on the development of tinnitus.

Your diet and tinnitus

Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official publication of the American Auditory Society, sampled all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your danger of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, particularly, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.

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

And there’s more. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns may also trigger tinnitus symptoms. For instance, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. Needless to say, low-fat diets that were high in fruits, vegetables, and meats also seemed fairly good for your ears.

So should you make a change to your diet?

You would have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone likely won’t have a substantial impact. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other things, like exposure to loud noise. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.

This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:

  • Safeguarding your ears takes many strategies: According to this research, eating a good diet can help reduce your vulnerability to tinnitus and other inner ear ailments. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It just gives you better odds of preventing ear conditions. So if you want to decrease the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels stay safe.
  • Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Going below that could increase your vulnerability to tinnitus. But your ears won’t necessarily be healthy just because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
  • Nutrients are important: Your diet will have an impact on the health of your hearing. It certainly seems as if an overall healthy diet will be good for your ears. 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 especially true.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you figure out what type and level of hearing loss you’re dealing with and how to best manage it.

Research is one thing, actual life is another

And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and fascinating, it’s not the final word on the topic. More research must be conducted on this subject to validate these results, or to refine them, or dispute them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for example.

So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can certainly be diet. But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about tried and tested techniques, and that you pay attention to protecting your ear health as much as possible.

We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing problems, call us.

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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.