Your Tinnitus Symptoms Could be Triggered by Your Diet

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! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.

Perhaps you should just go with a banana on second thought. A banana is a healthier choice after all.

Everything is interconnected in the human body. So the fact that your diet can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For instance, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Current research is suggesting that diet can 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 looked at the diets of a wide variety of people. Your danger of certain inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes depending on what you eat. And, based on the research, a lack of vitamin B12, in particular, could increase your potential for getting tinnitus.

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

And there’s more. The researchers also observed that dietary patterns could also trigger tinnitus symptoms. In particular, diets high in protein appeared to decrease the risk of developing tinnitus. It also appeared that diets low in fat and high in fruits and veggies had a beneficial impact on your hearing.

So should you make a change to your diet?

You would need to have an extremely deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial impact. Your hearing is far more likely to be affected by other factors, such as exposure to loud sound. But your general health depends on a healthy diet.

This research has revealed some practical and meaningful insights:

  • Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The risk of tinnitus and other inner ear conditions can be lowered by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has gone away. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to lower the chance of tinnitus even more, you’ll have to take an inclusive approach to safeguard your ears. This will often mean protecting your ears from loud noise by using earplugs or earmuffs
  • Nutrients are essential: Your total hearing health will be impacted by what you eat. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a balanced diet. But beyond that, we can definitely see how malnutrition could cause problems such as tinnitus. This can be especially important to note when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
  • 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 getting more vitamin B12 won’t necessarily make your ears healthier. Getting too little or too much of these elements could be detrimental to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you consume.
  • Get your hearing tested professionally: Come in and get your hearing checked if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you figure out (and correctly address) any hearing loss.

Real life doesn’t always mirror the research

While this is exciting research, it’s significant to note that there’s more to be said on the matter. More research must be conducted on this subject to confirm these conclusions, or to improve them, or dispute them. We don’t know, for example, how much of this connection is causal or correlational.

So we’re not implying that tinnitus can be eliminated by a B12 shot alone. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start will probably mean taking a multi-faceted approach. One of those facets can definitely be diet. But it’s essential that you don’t forget about tried and tested methods, and that you concentrate on safeguarding your hearing health as much as possible.

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


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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