Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

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

On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. After all, a banana is a much better health choice.

Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t be surprising. If you eat a diet high in sodium, for example, it can raise your blood pressure which can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is verifying this idea, indicating that your diet could have a direct impact on the development of tinnitus.

Tinnitus and your diet

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

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was linked to tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your chances of developing tinnitus too.

That’s not all. This research also revealed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. For example, your risk of developing tinnitus will be decreased by a diet high in protein. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial effect on your hearing.

So should you make a change to your diet?

Diet alone isn’t likely to significantly change your hearing, and in fact, you’d most likely have to have a fairly significant deficiency for this to be the cause. Your hearing is much more likely to be impacted by other factors, like exposure to loud sound. Having said that, you should try to sustain a healthy diet for your overall health.

This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:

  • Protecting your ears takes many approaches: According to this study, eating a healthy diet can help reduce your susceptibility to tinnitus and other inner ear conditions. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more resilient. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the risk of tinnitus. This will often mean safeguarding your hearing from loud noise by wearing earplugs or earmuffs
  • Quantities vary: Sure, you require a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for example) to keep your ears healthy. Going below that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be damaging to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you take.
  • Nutrients are essential: Your diet will have an impact on your hearing health. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could lead to problems like tinnitus. And with people who are lacking the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need, this is particularly true.
  • Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing evaluated if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We will be able to help you determine (and properly address) any hearing loss.

Research is one thing, actual life is another

And, finally, it’s important to note that, while this research is impressive and interesting, it isn’t the final word on the subject. In order to verify and improve the scope of these results, more research will still have to be carried out. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be identified, for instance.

So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing in the first place will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you concentrate on protecting your ear health as much as you can.

We can help, so if you’re experiencing hearing issues, 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.
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