Did You Know That Food And Tinnitus Have a Connection?

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in tinnitus symptoms; it appears difficult to identify why and when these sounds occur. At times, it seems as if, for no apparent reason at all, your ears just begin to buzz. As you lie in bed, you consider your day, and there are no clear reasons for this episode: There is no apparent reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is happening, no noisy music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the food. Usually we don’t connect the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by some foods. In order to stay away from those foods, it’s important to know what they are.

Some Foods Which Activate Tinnitus

Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You would like to know which foods you should avoid so you can make certain you never have to experience one of those food-generated tinnitus episodes again. Here are some foods to avoid:

Alcoholic Beverages

High on the list of items to steer clear of are alcohol and tobacco. Alright, okay, “tobacco” isn’t actually food, but if you want to reduce tinnitus attacks (and the intensity of those episodes), you’ll abstain from drinking and smoking as much as possible.

Your general health can be substantially impacted by alcohol and tobacco particularly your blood pressure. Your tinnitus is increasingly more likely to flare up the more you smoke and drink


Your blood pressure is one of the leading predictors of tinnitus episodes. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s the reason why sodium should certainly be on your list of food substances to stay away from. Whether you enjoy french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to ease up a lot.

There are some foods that you don’t usually consider to be high in sodium including ice cream. But to avoid any sudden tinnitus episodes you will want to keep your eye on sodium content.

Fast Food

If you’re avoiding sodium, it should come as no surprise that you should also be avoiding fast food. Even fast food joints that claim to be a more healthy alternative serve food that is extremely high in sodium and fat. And, clearly, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be negatively affected by this kind of diet. Fast food restaurants also usually serve astonishingly large drinks, and those beverages are very high in sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on the list.

Sugars and Sweets

Candy is something that all of us love. Well, maybe not everyone, but the majority of us. Every now and then, you’ll run into someone who actually prefers broccoli over candy. We try not to judge.

Sadly, sugar can completely throw off the equilibrium of glucose in your body. And as you’re trying to go to sleep at night, a small disturbance to that balance can mean lots of tossing and turning. In the silence of the night, as you lie there awake, it becomes a lot easier to start to hear that ringing.


There’s an apparent reason why we kept this one for last. Quitting this one is a hard pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be substantially affected if you drink any kind of caffeine later in the day. And the less quality sleep you get, the more likely your tinnitus is to flare up.

So it’s not actually the caffeine per se that’s the problem, it’s the lack of sleep. Switch over to a drink that doesn’t have caffeine at night and save your caffeine for the morning.

What Are Your Best Practices?

This list is certainly not comprehensive. You’ll want to consult your hearing expert about any dietary modifications you may need to make. Let’s remember that dietary modifications impact everyone in a different way, so in order to keep track of what works and what doesn’t, it might be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Understanding what foods can lead to a tinnitus episode can help you make more intelligent decisions moving ahead. When you begin keeping track of how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus might become less mysterious.

Then you will recognize if you are going to be sorry for that late cup of coffee.

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