Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You walk into the kitchen to look for a bite to eat. Will it be something salty… maybe some crackers? Chips sound good! Hold up. Maybe this leftover piece of cheesecake.

On second thought, maybe you should just have a banana. After all, a banana is a much healthier choice.

Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can impact your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you eat a high sodium diet, for example, it can elevate your blood pressure and that can increase your tinnitus symptoms. Research is adding weight to this idea, suggesting that what you eat could have a strong impact on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.

Tinnitus and your diet

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

There were other nutrients besides B12 that were linked to tinnitus symptoms. Your risk of developing tinnitus also increases if your diet is too rich in fat, calcium, and iron.

That isn’t all. This research also showed that tinnitus symptoms can also be affected by dietary patterns. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also seemed that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a positive impact on your hearing.

So should you make a change to your diet?

Diet by itself isn’t likely to drastically change your hearing, and actually, you’d probably have to have a pretty severe deficiency for this to be the cause. Other issues, such as exposure to loud sound, are far more likely to affect your hearing. Having said that, you should attempt to maintain a healthy diet for your overall health.

There are a few substantive and useful insights that we can get from this research:

  • Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your hearing healthy you need a certain amount of B12 in your diet. You will be more susceptible to tinnitus if you go below this level. But getting more vitamin B12 isn’t necessarily going to make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be damaging to your hearing, so always talk to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
  • Protecting your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. That doesn’t mean you’re no longer at risk. It simply means that your ears are a little more robust. You’ll need a more extensive approach if you truly want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to guarantee noise levels remain safe.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: If you’re dealing with hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing checked. We will be able to help you determine (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
  • Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health will be impacted by what you eat. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition can cause issues like tinnitus. This can be especially important to take note of when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they require.

Research is one thing, real life is another

While this is inspiring research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the subject. More research must be conducted on this topic to confirm these conclusions, or to improve them, or challenge them. How much of this relationship is causal and how much is correlational is still something that needs to be established, for instance.

So we’re not suggesting that tinnitus can be prevented by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from appearing in the first place could mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet is one of those prongs, sure (eat that banana). But it’s essential to take measures to safeguard your hearing and don’t forget about established methods.

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

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment


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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today