Diet and hearing loss

Posted by imallears @imallears, Sep 21, 2019

Hello all,

Anyone who knows me on the healthy living site knows I am passionate about diet and how it affects your health. You are what you eat is my motto.
For reference I have a profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss…gradual loss over 40 years since my mid 30s. Currently wear 2 Phonak Nadia UPs.

Seventy percent of our medical problems are food related. Foods high in potassium, zinc, magnesium, folic acid are all essential for overall good health. The inner ear relies on a regular flow of blood and this is where folic acid is so important. We need to protect ourselves against high blood pressure and inflammation by limiting salt, sugar, caffeine, processed foods, wheat. High blood pressure is associated with hearing loss and an increase in tinnitus and also does damage to the blood vessels in the retina. Type II diabetics are more likely to develop hearing loss. A healthy diet is connected to good vision also.

Being overweight or obese can lead to other diseases that can damage your hearing. Exercise is critical and balance exercises even more so. You can take control of your diet and keep your hearing from getting worse and protect your eyes from age related damage. And you know we need our eyes to lip read. This country has an obesity epidemic and two of the unfortunate byproducts of all the resulting diseases is loss of or poor hearing and vision problems.

Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage in the inner ear or the auditory nerve or both. Vestibular disorders lead to balance disorders and disorientation. There are people on the Mayo forum who are all too familiar with this subject and can suggest therapies and self diagnostic exams.

Research the foods you should be eating and read those darn labels when you shop. Throw out all the crap in your pantry…no don’t donate it…My hearing hasn’t deteriorated in a dozen years. I have age related macular degeneration resulting from a detached retina when I was young. My yearly exam is coming up and I expect him to say the same thing he has said over the past 5 years….everything looks great…no change. The vision in my left eye improved last year. I know that I hear as well as I do, with aids, because of my lifestyle and diet.

Off my soapbox here if sunny, lower humidity FL

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

Great post. Very informative. Keep pushing.


Imallears, this is interesting. The topic would be great for an HLAA chapter meeting. Would you suggest I contact a dietician? If so, would they necessarily know the effects of certain foods on hearing health? Do you know of a book that documents what you've mentioned? Thanks
Tony in Michigan


Good morning Michigan,

I think the best book, if you want to go that route , is to find a book about food and it’s relation to disease, not specifically hearing. There are too many phony claims in hearing health books. Also there are way too many books on nutrition and health. I wouldn’t order one online but I would go to a book store and browse that section. My daughter is a nurse practitioner and one of her passions is nutrition. So I learned a lot from her and she does constant research. She sees the effect of poor food choices everyday.
I don’t see the need to go to a dietitian unless you have some health problems and are confused as what to eat. But I do suggest going for a complete blood panel…..that will tell your doctor what you are low or high in. Target any of your health problems first and read up on that. Doctors are generally no help in that area.

The Hearing Health Foundation has online information about diet and hearing health. There is a lot of information online but a common thread is to adopt the Mediterranean diet lifestyle. It’s also a lot of common sense. If you have the interest now then you are off to a great start. I’ll ask my daughter if there is a book she could recommend that is easy reading for the layman. Avoid any particular Diet books…you want an overall general guide to better health.

Regards from FL Mary


Imallears, this is interesting. The topic would be great for an HLAA chapter meeting. Would you suggest I contact a dietician? If so, would they necessarily know the effects of certain foods on hearing health? Do you know of a book that documents what you've mentioned? Thanks
Tony in Michigan

Jump to this post


This is a ps to my comments. I have the name of 2 common sense authors who both have books and podcasts.
Mark Hyman, MD and Steve Gundry , MD. They address all areas of nutrition and health.



I thought you might be interested in the findings of this research
– Healthy diets linked to lower risk of hearing loss in women

And these articles
– How Nutrition Affects Our Hearing
– Thoughts on Diet and Hearing Loss


Awesome articles, especially the last one from the American Academy of Audiology which I am forwarding to my audiologist who loves to know as much as she can about hearing. I could have written this article lol. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Watson at Cold Spring Harbor in NY. Sat next to him at a dinner just after The Double Helix was published which I read, thank goodness.

We were good eaters back in the 70s but really knew nothing about nutrition . Growing up there were no fast food restaurants and we ate more fresh foods. It’s only in the past 10 years that my daughter and I have been researching the food and health relationship to the point that our diets are the best they have ever been. Whether my hearing would have been better if I ate the way I eat today…I won’t ever know. I love that the link between obesity and medical problems was mentioned and that he said what I always say…you are what you eat. I also love that he alluded to labels and all the ingredients listed…the less the better or none at all.

Dr Watson didn’t say that antioxidants cause cancer. He said that people who are undergoing cancer therapies like chemo and radiation will not benefit from antioxidants , that it deters the effect of the treatment and blocks the treatment. People jumped on the bandwagon and said don’t eat antioxidant enriched food like blueberries and dark chocolate. That’s not true. I don’t know how much research was done on that particular topic. But I do know they were brilliant. Dr Watson is still alive…he was a bit of a character when I met him

Thanks so much for starting my day off in a good way!

FL Mary


thank you for posting these- it is unfortunate that so little is written on the topic -the hearing health article is a copy of the NIH one – good info, just wish there was more research done and more data. much appreciated

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