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Tinnitus-friendly foods: A guide

Author thumbnail Stephanie Hedicker  |  Published 05 May 2023  | Updated 15 May 2023  | 4 mins read

For those of us affected by tinnitus, it can be an annoying and debilitating condition. In fact, tinnitus affects around 10% of the population! For as long as we’ve suffered with tinnitus, we’ve been looking for ways to manage, but what actually works? 

Well, we’re going to explore the links between tinnitus, food and diet to find out whether tinnitus-friendly foods really do help us.

What is tinnitus?

Whether it’s ringing, buzzing or hissing, if you are hearing a sound or noise without a source that’s tinnitus. Contrary to popular belief, tinnitus isn’t regarded as an illness, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. However, it is often difficult to determine what that condition is.

Tinnitus will often go away by itself, but that is not always the case. As of yet, there is no known cure for tinnitus, so for those long-term tinnitus sufferers, we would always recommend a management plan. 

There is currently no conclusive evidence that suggests certain foods can improve or worsen tinnitus, but what we do know is that keeping a balanced and healthy diet can be beneficial not only for our general well-being, but for our hearing health, which in turn will have a positive impact on tinnitus symptoms.

Here are just a few foods you should try to incorporate into your diet to boost your hearing health!

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 helps our bodies make red blood cells and keeps our nervous systems nice and healthy! It also helps our bodies release energy from the food we eat. Recent studies are now suggesting there is a link between hearing loss and vitamin B12 deficiency, so it’s important we fuel our bodies with the right amount [1]. 

Vitamin B12 can be found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy and even some fortified cereals. The NHS recommends 1.5 micrograms a day for adults aged between 19-64 [2].

high-zinc-foods

Potassium

Commonly found in bananas, spinach and broccoli to name just a few, potassium helps to control and balance fluids throughout the body. It also plays an important role for our ears, helping them convert the sounds we hear into signals which are interpreted by our brains.

Zinc

Zinc is responsible for helping our bodies with cell growth and for healing wounds, so it plays a vital function in our overall well-being, including our hearing.

Oysters are a fantastic source of zinc, although they aren’t for everyone. You can also find zinc in foods such as lamb, beef and pumpkin seeds.

What foods could worsen tinnitus?

There is very little evidence to suggest that foods can have a negative impact on your tinnitus. However, moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s important to moderate your intake of the following: 

  • Sodium
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco

Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet that may affect your health and/or medication.

free-tinnitus-consultations

Tinnitus Consultations

Knowing where to begin with managing your tinnitus can be confusing, so that’s why here at The Hearing Care Partnership, we offer a free tinnitus consultation to help you get on the right track and start managing it.

During a tinnitus consultation at The Hearing Care Partnership, your audiologist will conduct a full hearing assessment and check for any ear wax build-up to determine whether this may be a cause of your tinnitus. They will also go through your medical history before providing you with personalised advice on solutions that may be of benefit to you and your tinnitus. This can include hearing aids, ear wax removal and cognitive behavioural therapy.

To book a tinnitus consultation with one of our audiologists, please call our Dedicated Patient Support team on 0800 52 00 546, or book an appointment below. 

  1. Denise K Houston, Mary Ann Johnson, Robert J Nozza, Elaine W Gunter, Kelly J Shea, G Michelle Cutler, Jean T Edmonds, Age-related hearing loss, vitamin B-12, and folate in elderly women, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 69, Issue 3, March 1999, Pages 564–571,
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-b/