Ringing In The Ears Or Tinnitus

Can what we eat affect what we hear? Definitely -- when it comes to tinnitus or "ringing in the ears." An astonishing 36 million Americans, mostly over fifty, complain of this annoying racket which can also sound like a kettle whistling, an ocean roaring, or a steady clicking or buzzing. But listen to this: studies show the problem may be easily silenced -- just by changing our diets.

Thats because for some of us, the problem is caused by low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. A significant imbalance in our glucose (sugar) level can have an adverse effect on our hearing ability because a drop in blood sugar causes adrenaline to be released. The blood vessels in the ear then constrict and the ringing begins.

Some individuals have persistent hypoglycemia or a regular pattern of reactive hypoglycemia after meals. Blood-glucose tests will detect whether hypoglycemia is the underlying problem responsible for your hearing disorder. Your doctor may then put you on a special diet: You may be eating a lot more fish, meat, cheese, brown rice, beans, chicken and soybeans. But youll also have to cut down on sugar, including processed foods and condiments that may contain hidden sugar. Starchy foods such as potatoes will also be avoided because they can cause the same reaction as white rice and pastas made with white flour do. Youll also eat more frequent but smaller meals.

Tinnitus can include several other conditions such as obstruction in the auditory canal, an infection, meningitis, cardiovascular disease, anemia or a noise-induced hearing loss. Ringing in the ears can also be a side effect of certain diuretics and other drugs.If eating a lot of high-sugar foods rings a bell have your doctor give you test for hypoglycemia. If you hear the diagnosis is an imbalance in your glucose level, it might music to your ears.See what others have to say about this story or leave a comment of your own.Robin Westen is the author of Relationship Repair (Sterling, 2011)
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