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Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in symptoms of tinnitus; it seems to be difficult to understand when and why these sounds occur. Perhaps you’re climbing into bed one night and, evidently without warning, your ears begin to ring badly. No matter how much you lie there and contemplate the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t identify any triggers during 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 could be the reason. Ordinarily we don’t connect the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that certain foods can make tinnitus worse. In order to avoid those foods, you need to identify what they are.

Some Foods Which Activate Tinnitus

So let’s get right to it. You don’t want to experience a food related tinnitus event so it’s important to identify what foods can cause it. Here are some foods to stay away from:


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

Your overall health can be significantly affected by tobacco and alcohol specifically 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 biggest predictors of tinnitus episodes. When your blood pressure goes up, your tinnitus worsens. That’s the reason why sodium should absolutely be on your list of food substances to stay away from. Whether you love eating french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to ease up a lot.

There are some foods that are shockingly high in sodium, also, like ice cream (which you don’t normally think of as tasting very salty). But to prevent any sudden tinnitus episodes you will want to keep track of sodium content.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be surprising that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. The majority of fast-food joints (even the ones that claim they are a healthier option) serve food that is loaded with salt and fat. And, again, that’s going to have a substantial impact on your blood pressure and, hence, your tinnitus. Fast food outlets also normally serve astonishingly huge drinks, and those beverages are mostly sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on the list.

Sugars and Sweets

We all love candy. Well, most of us enjoy candy. There is a very small percentage of the populace that would actually prefer veggies. No judgment from us.

Sad to say, the glucose balance in your body can be seriously disrupted by sugar. And as you’re trying to get to sleep at night, a small disturbance to that balance can mean a lot of tossing and turning. And the more you toss and turn, the more you start listening for that buzzing and ringing.


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

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

What Are Your Smartest Practices?

This list is by no means comprehensive. Your hearing professional is the ideal place to start concerning the dietary modifications you need to undertake. And it’s worth bearing in mind that everyone will be affected in their own way by dietary adjustments, 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 choices if you recognize how some foods affect you. When you begin monitoring how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus may become less mysterious.

If you decide on that evening of coffee, at least you know what you’re dealing with.

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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