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 bite to eat. Do you want something salty… what about crackers? Oooo, potato chips! Wait. Maybe this leftover slice of cheesecake.

On second thought, maybe you should just eat a banana. A banana is a healthier choice after all.

Everything is interconnected in the human body. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that your diet can affect your ears. For example, too much sodium can increase blood pressure and could make tinnitus symptoms more noticeable. Research is adding weight to this notion, indicating that your diet could have a strong influence on the manifestation of tinnitus symptoms.

Your diet and tinnitus

A study published in Ear and Hearing, the official journal of the American Auditory Society, observed a wide variety of people and looked closely at their diets. The data indicates that what you eat might increase or diminish your vulnerability to some inner ear conditions, tinnitus among them. And your risk of developing tinnitus increases, especially when your diet is lacking vitamin B12.

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

That isn’t all. The researchers also noted that dietary patterns may also bring about tinnitus symptoms. Particularly, diets high in protein seemed to reduce the likelihood of developing tinnitus. It also appeared 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?

You would have 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, like exposure to loud sound. But your overall health depends on a healthy diet.

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

  • Protecting your ears takes many strategies: The danger of tinnitus and other inner ear disorders can be reduced by eating a healthy diet, according to this study. That doesn’t mean you’re not still at risk. It simply gives you better odds of avoiding ear conditions. So if you want to decrease the risk of tinnitus even further, you’ll have to take a comprehensive approach to protect your hearing. This might mean using earmuffs or earplugs to make sure noise levels remain safe.
  • Always get your hearing checked by a professional: If you’re suffering from hearing loss or tinnitus, have your hearing tested. We can help you determine what type and degree of hearing loss you’re coping with and how to best address it.
  • Quantities vary: Sure, you need a certain amount of vitamin B12 (for instance) to keep your ears healthy. 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 elements could be harmful to your hearing, so always speak to your doctor about any supplements you consume.
  • Nutrients are important: Your diet is going to have an effect on the health of your hearing. Naturally, your hearing will be helped by a healthy diet. So it’s not hard to see how problems such as tinnitus can be an outcome of poor nutrition. This can be particularly important to take note of when individuals aren’t taking in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that they need.

Real life doesn’t always echo the research

And, finally, it’s significant to note that, while this research is exciting and interesting, it’s not the final word on the subject. More research must be conducted on this subject to confirm these findings, or to improve them, or dispute them. We’re not sure, for instance, how much of this relationship is causal or correlational.

So we’re far from claiming that a vitamin B12 shot will stop tinnitus. Keeping that ringing in your ears from surfacing from the start may mean taking a multi-faceted approach. Diet can be one of those facets, certainly (eat that banana). But it’s crucial that you take measures to protect your hearing and don’t forget about proven methods.

If you’re experiencing tinnitus, contact us. 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.

Stop struggling to hear conversations. Come see us today. Call or Text