Nutrition is fundamental to all aspects of health. Most people aren’t aware of the link between the diet and the auditory system. However, just like diet affects our sight and other senses, it influences the hearing too.
While diet plays a key role in helping our auditory system, there is no specific food or nutrient that will definitely cause or prevent hearing loss. Hearing Impairment cannot be restored or avoided completely through a diet change.
Good nutrition patterns and diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing hearing loss. Here are some of the nutrients that a play a key role in reducing the chances of acquiring hearing loss.
Potassium is a mineral that regulates the amount of fluid in blood and body tissues. The inner ear is filled with a clear fluid that translates noises into electrical impulses, that the brain interprets as sounds. Too much or too little fluid in the inner ear causes auditory problems and discomfort. Potassium regulates the amount of inner fluid in the ear.
Potatoes, spinach, bananas, apricots, yogurt and milk are some of the dietary sources of potassium, that can significantly reduce the chances of acquiring hearing loss.
Folic Acid :
Folic Acid is an essential nutrient for everyone, not just pregnant women and children! It helps to to generate new cells and plays an important role in repairing the damaged tissues. People who consume low levels of folic acid are more prone to have presbycusis or age-related hearing loss. The absence of folic acid significantly impairs the body’s ability to grow new tissues. As the ear undergoes wear and tear over time, the absence of folic acid will prevent new cells from growing, ultimately resulting in hearing loss.
Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and beans are dietary sources of folic acid, that can be easily incorporated into our daily diet.
An essential nutrient for maintaining normal nerve and muscle function is Magnesium. It supports the body’s immunity and makes people less prone to hearing loss. People who consume magnesium on a daily basis, along with Vitamins A, C, and E are significantly less prone to developing noise-related hearing loss. A deficiency in magnesium causes the blood vessels in the inner ear to shrink, causing irreversible hearing damage. Additionally, the presence of magnesium in the body, helps the body fight infections and reduces the chance of hearing loss in the case of ear infections.
Bananas, Artichokes, spinach and potatoes are great sources of dietary magnesium.
Zinc helps with cell growth and tissue repair. It can also prevent ear infections and plays a key role in treating tinnitus (persistent ringing in the ear) and other associated problems. Nuts, Beans, Lentils and Chocolate are popular dietary sources of zinc.
Malnutrition and Hearing Loss :
Malnutrition can slow the inner ear development, resulting in hearing impairment in young adults and children. If a woman, does not receive the right nutrients in her pregnancy, it can result in the hearing impairment of the foetus.
Malnourishment through a person’s lifetime can slowly lead to other problems, which in turn can increase their likelihood of experiencing hearing loss.
The Ending Note :
Nutrition has an indirect, but significant impact on hearing loss. Diet can cause metabolic disorders like diabetes and hypertensions, which in turn can impact hearing loss.
A healthy and nutritious diet is essential for a healthy body, and healthy hearing!