Your Tinnitus Symptoms May be Triggered by Your Diet

Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

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

Actually, maybe you should just eat a banana. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.

Everything is interrelated in the human body. So maybe it’s not a big surprise that what you eat can impact your ears. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can raise your blood pressure and that can escalate your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this idea, 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, observed all kinds of people and took a close look at their diets. Your risk of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, according to the research, a deficiency of vitamin B12, particularly, could raise your potential for getting tinnitus.

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Eating too much calcium, iron, or fat could increase your chances of developing tinnitus too.

That’s not all. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns may also bring about tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.

Does this suggest you should change your diet?

You would have to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so modifying your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Your hearing is much more likely to be affected by other factors, like exposure to loud noise. Having said that, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.

There are several meaningful and useful insights that we can get from this research:

  • Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you figure out (and properly address) any hearing loss.
  • Protecting your ears takes many approaches: The risk 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 overall risk has gone away. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to lower the risk of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This will frequently mean protecting your hearing from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
  • Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. Getting less than that could increase your susceptibility to tinnitus. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Always consult your doctor about any supplements you take because getting too little or too much of these nutrients can be bad for you.
  • Nutrients are essential: Your overall hearing health will be effected by what you eat. Naturally, your hearing will be benefited by a healthy diet. So it isn’t hard to see how issues such as 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.

Research is one thing, real life is another

And, lastly, it’s important to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the subject. More research needs to be conducted on this topic to verify these conclusions, or to improve them, or dispute them. How much of this connection is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be determined, for instance.

So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be stopped by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing in the first place will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s crucial to take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven strategies.

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

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.