Hearing Assessment Center, LLC - Lutherville, Bel Air, and  Nottingham, MD

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in symptoms of tinnitus; it appears difficult to know when and why these sounds occur. Perhaps you’re getting into bed one night and, evidently without warning, your ears begin to ring badly. No matter how long you lie in bed and think about the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t identify any triggers in your day: no loud music, no screeching fire alarms, nothing that might explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So maybe it’s the food. We don’t typically think about the connection between hearing and food, 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, you need to recognize what they are.

Which Foods Worsen Tinnitus?

So let’s get right down to it. You want to find out what foods you should stay away from so you can make sure you never have to go through one of those food-produced tinnitus episodes again. Certain foods to stay away from may include:

Alcoholic Beverages

At the top of the list of things to avoid are tobacco and alcohol. Alright, okay, “tobacco” isn’t necessarily food, but if you want to decrease tinnitus attacks (and the severity of those episodes), you’ll avoid drinking and smoking as much as possible.

Your general health can be significantly affected by tobacco and alcohol particularly your blood pressure. The more you indulge, the more likely a tinnitus flare up will be.

Sodium

One of the best predictors of tinnitus episodes is your blood pressure. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus gets worse. That’s the reason why when you make your list of foods to avoid, sodium needs to be at the top. 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 high in sodium such as ice cream. You’ll need to keep an eye on sodium levels in everything you eat to avoid a surprise tinnitus event.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be shocking that you should stay away from fast food if you are avoiding sodium. Even fast food joints that say they are a more healthy alternative serve food that is very high in sodium and fat. And, again, that’s going to have a big influence on your blood pressure and, hence, your tinnitus. Let’s not forget the massive drinks they serve which are very high in sugar. Which brings us to the next food to avoid.

Sugars and Sweets

Candy is something that all of us enjoy. Well, most of us love candy. There is a very small portion of the public that would actually prefer vegetables. No judgment from us.

Regrettably, the glucose balance in your body can be seriously disrupted by sugar. And a little disturbance of your glucose balance can cause you to have a difficult time sleeping. And the more you toss and turn, the more you begin to listen for that ringing and buzzing.

Caffeine

So, we saved this one for last because, well, we get it. Giving this one up is a tough pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be significantly affected if you have any caffeine late in the day. And your tinnitus is more likely to flare up if you don’t get quality sleep.

So it’s not actually the caffeine itself that’s the problem, it’s the lack of sleep. Change over to a beverage that doesn’t have caffeine in the evenings and save your caffeine for the morning.

Discover What Works Best For You

This is absolutely not a comprehensive list. Your hearing professional is the ideal place to begin regarding the dietary changes you need to undertake. Let’s not forget that dietary modifications impact everyone differently, so it might even be worth maintaining a food journal where you can keep track of what affects you and by how much.

Going forward you will have an easier time making practical decisions if you understand how certain foods affect you. When you begin keeping track of how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus may become less mysterious.

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

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