Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in tinnitus symptoms; it seems difficult to know when and why these sounds occur. Maybe you’re climbing into bed one night and, evidently out of the blue, your ears begin to ring something fierce. No matter how long you lie in bed and contemplate the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t come up with any triggers during your day: There is no discernible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is taking place, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the something you ate. We don’t generally think about the connection between food and hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by some foods. In order to steer clear of those foods, you need to know what they are.

Some Foods That Trigger Tinnitus

Let’s just dive right in, shall we? You won’t want to go through a food related tinnitus event so you need to find out which foods can cause it. Certain foods to avoid could include:

Alcoholic Drinks

At the top of the list of items to steer clear of are alcohol and tobacco. You will absolutely want to abstain from smoking and drinking in order to lessen your chance of a tinnitus flare up’s despite the fact that tobacco isn’t actually a food.

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


Your blood pressure is one of the leading predictors of tinnitus flare ups. Your tinnitus worsens when your blood pressure rises. That’s the reason why when you make your list of foods to stay away from, sodium should be at the top. Whether you love french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to ease up a lot.

There are a few foods that you don’t typically consider to be high in sodium like ice cream. You’ll need to watch out for sodium levels in anything 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 boast of being a more healthy option serve food that is really high in fat and sodium. And, again, that’s going to have a substantial consequence on your blood pressure and, therefore, your tinnitus. Let’s not forget the enormous drinks they serve that are extremely high in sugar. Which brings up the next food to avoid.

Sweets And Sugars

Candy is something that all of us enjoy. Well, most of us love candy. There is a very small percentage of the population that would actually prefer veggies. We try not to pass judgment.

Sadly, the glucose balance in your body can be greatly disrupted by sugar. And a small disruption of your glucose balance can cause you to have a difficult time trying to sleep. And the more you toss and turn, the more you begin to listen for that buzzing and ringing.


There’s an obvious reason why we saved this one for last. This is the one we’re least positive about needing to give up. But using caffeine late in the day, whether from soda, tea, or coffee, can really ruin your sleep cycle. And the worse your quality of sleep, the more likely your tinnitus is to flare up.

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

Discover What Works Best For You

This list is by no means comprehensive. Your hearing expert is the ideal place to start when it comes to the dietary changes you need to undertake. Let’s remember that dietary changes affect everyone differently, so in order to monitor what is working and what isn’t, it may be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Moving ahead you will have an easier time making smart choices if you recognize how particular foods affect you. When you begin keeping track of how your ears respond to different foods, the explanation for your tinnitus could become less mysterious.

Then you will appreciate if you are going to regret that late cup of coffee.

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