Relationship between dietary quality, tinnitus and hearing level

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the healthy eating index (HEI), a measure of dietary quality based on United States Department of Agriculture recommendations and report of tinnitus | International Journal of Audiology 

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Results: Of the sample, 21.1% reported tinnitus within the past year and 11.7% reported persistent tinnitus, defined as tinnitus experienced at least monthly or greater. Controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, diabetes, noise exposure and smoking status, we found that with healthier diet (poorer vs. better HEI) there was decreased odds of reported persistent tinnitus [odds ratio (OR); 0.67; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.45–0.98; p = 0.03].

Conclusions: The current findings support a possible relationship between healthier diet quality and reported persistent tinnitus.

Full reference: Spankovich, C. et al. (2017) Relationship between dietary quality, tinnitus and hearing level: data from the national health and nutrition examination survey, 1999–2002. International Journal of Audiology. Vol. 56 (Issue 10) pp. 716-722

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Dietary habits and hearing

Rosenhall, U. et al. Dietary habits and hearing. International Journal of Audiology February 2015, Vol. 54, No. S1 , Pages S53-S56


Objective: Study groups from three age cohorts of 70–75 year-olds were investigated to search for possible correlations between dietary habits and auditory function.

Design: A cross-sectional, epidemiological study. Study sample: A total number of 524 people (275 women, 249 men) were recruited from three age cohorts. The study sample was representative of the general population. All participants answered a diet history and were tested with pure-tone audiometry. Eleven categories of food consumption were related to pure-tone averages of low-mid frequency hearing, and high frequency hearing.

Results: Two consistent correlations between diet and hearing were observed. One was a correlation between good hearing and a high consumption of fish in the male group. The other was a correlation between poor high frequency hearing and a high consumption of food rich in low molecular carbohydrates in both genders; a larger effect size was seen in females.

Conclusions: The study indicates that diet is important for aural health in aging. According to this study fish is beneficial to hearing, whereas consumption of “junk food”, rich in low molecular carbohydrates, is detrimental. Other correlations, e.g. between high consumption of antioxidants, were not demonstrated here, but cannot be excluded.