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Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in symptoms of tinnitus; it appears difficult to understand when and why these sounds occur. Perhaps you’re getting into bed one night and, evidently out of nowhere, your ears begin to ring something fierce. No matter how much you lie in bed and think about the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t identify any triggers in your day: There is no tangible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing starts taking place, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So perhaps the food you ate might be the answer. Typically we don’t link the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that some foods can make tinnitus worse. In order to stay away from those foods, you need to recognize what they are.

Some Foods Which Activate Tinnitus

So let’s get right to it. You don’t want to experience a food triggered tinnitus episode so it’s important to recognize which foods can cause it. Certain foods to avoid might include:


High on the list of items to steer clear of are tobacco and alcohol. You will certainly want to avoid drinking and smoking in order to reduce your risk of a tinnitus flare up’s even though tobacco isn’t really a food.

Both tobacco and alcohol products can have an enormous effect on your blood pressure (not to mention your overall health). The more you drink (and smoke), the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.


One of the top predictors of tinnitus flare-ups is your blood pressure. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s the reason why sodium should definitely be on your list of food foods to stay away from. You’ll need to substantially reduce your sodium consumption whether you put salt on everything or you just love eating french fries.

There are a few foods that you don’t commonly consider to be high in sodium such as ice cream. You’ll want to keep close track of sodium levels in everything you eat to prevent a surprise tinnitus episode.

Fast Food

If you’re steering clear of sodium, it should come as no shock that you should also be avoiding fast food. Even fast food joints that say they are a more healthy option serve food that is really high in fat and sodium. And, of course, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be negatively affected by this kind of diet. Fast food outlets also normally serve astonishingly large drinks, and those drinks are mostly sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on this list.

Sweets And Sugars

Candy is something that we all enjoy. Well, maybe not everyone, but most of us. There is a very small percentage of the populace that would actually prefer vegetables. No judgment here.

Sad to say, the glucose balance in your body can be greatly disrupted by sugar. And a tiny disruption of your glucose stability can cause you to have a difficult time trying to sleep. In the quiet of the night, as you lie there awake, it becomes much easier to start to hear that ringing.


There is an obvious reason why we kept this one for last. This is the one we’re least pleased about needing to eliminate. But using caffeine late in the day, whether from coffee, tea, or soda, can really wreck your sleep cycle. And your tinnitus is more likely to appear if you aren’t getting quality sleep.

It’s actually the lack of sleep, not the caffeine that’s the problem. Drink your coffee or tea in the morning, and change to a non-caffeinated drink before dinner.

Learn What Works Best For You

This list is by no means exhaustive. You’ll want to speak with your hearing expert about any dietary changes you may need to make. And it’s worth remembering that everybody will be impacted differently by dietary modifications, so in order to keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t, it might be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Moving ahead you will have an easier time making smart choices if you know how certain foods affect you. When you begin monitoring how your ears respond to different foods, the reason for your tinnitus may become less incomprehensible.

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

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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