Your Diet Could be Closely Tied to Your Tinnitus Symptoms

Man looking for snacks in the refrigerator late night.

You’re feeling hungry so you go to your fridge for a snack. Will it be something salty… how about crackers? Chips sound good! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.

Maybe you should just opt for a banana on second thought. Of course, a banana is a much healthier option.

With the human body, everything is interconnected. So the fact that what you eat can affect your ears shouldn’t come as a surprise. For example, high sodium intake can raise blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. Current research is suggesting that diet can have a strong influence on the development of tinnitus.

Tinnitus and your diet

Research published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed all kinds of people and looked closely at their diets. Your risk of specific inner ear disorders, including tinnitus, increases or diminishes based on what you eat. And your chance of getting tinnitus increases, particularly when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 wasn’t the only nutrient that was associated with tinnitus symptoms. Consuming too much calcium, iron, or fat could raise your risk of getting tinnitus too.

And there’s more. The researchers also noted 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 positive effect on your hearing.

Does this suggest you need to change your diet?

You would need to have a seriously deficient diet in order for that to be the cause, so changing your diet alone probably won’t have a substantial effect. Other issues, like exposure to loud sound, are much more likely to affect your hearing. That said, you should try to keep a healthy diet for your general health.

This research has discovered some practical and meaningful insights:

  • Safeguarding your ears takes many approaches: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be decreased by eating a healthy diet, according to this research. But that doesn’t mean the entire risk has disappeared. It simply means that your ears are a bit more robust. You’ll need a more comprehensive approach if you really want to be protected from the chances of tinnitus. This may mean wearing earmuffs or earplugs to ensure noise levels remain safe.
  • Always get your hearing checked by a professional: Come in and get your hearing tested if you’re experiencing hearing loss or tinnitus. We can help you determine (and properly manage) any hearing loss.
  • Nutrients are important: Your total hearing health is going to be effected by what you eat. It certainly seems as if a generally healthy diet will be good for your ears. So it isn’t difficult to see how problems like tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to note when people aren’t getting the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.
  • Quantities vary: Certainly, if you want to keep your ears 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 simply because you get enough B12. Getting too little or too much of these nutrients could be harmful to your hearing, so always speak with your doctor about any supplements you take.

Research is one thing, real life is another

While this is exciting research, it’s significant to mention that there’s more to be said on the matter. In order to validate and improve the scope of these findings, more research will still have to be carried out. 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 far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will prevent tinnitus. It could mean taking a multi-faceted strategy in order to avoid tinnitus from the start. Diet can be one of those prongs, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s essential that you don’t forget about proven techniques, and that you concentrate on protecting your ear health as much as you can.

If you’re experiencing 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.