Did You Know That Food And Tinnitus Have a Link?

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus flare ups are almost never constant; it appears difficult to identify why and when these sounds happen. Maybe you’re climbing into bed one night and, evidently out of nowhere, your ears start ringing something fierce. No matter how much you lie in bed and think about the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t come up with any triggers in your day: There is no tangible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is taking place, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the food. We don’t usually think about the connection between food and hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that certain foods can make tinnitus worse. In order to stay away from those foods, you need to know what they are.

What Foods Make Tinnitus Worse?

Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You won’t want to experience a food triggered tinnitus episode so you need to know what foods can trigger it. Certain foods to stay away from could include:

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol and tobacco should be high on the list of things to avoid. Alright, okay, “tobacco” isn’t necessarily food, but if you want to lessen tinnitus episodes (and the severity of those episodes), you’ll steer clear of smoking and drinking as much as possible.

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


One of the best predictors of tinnitus flare-ups is your blood pressure. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus gets worse. That’s the reason why sodium should certainly be on your list of food foods to stay away from. You’ll need to drastically reduce your sodium consumption whether you use salt on everything or you just love to eat french fries.

There are some foods that you don’t usually consider high in sodium like ice cream. But to prevent any sudden tinnitus episodes you will need to keep track of sodium content.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be shocking that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. Most fast-food places (even the ones that bill themselves as a healthier alternative) serve food that is packed with salt and fat. And, clearly, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be negatively impacted by this type of diet. Let’s not forget the giant drinks they serve that are extremely high in sugar. Which brings up the next food to avoid.

Sugars and Sweets

We all enjoy candy. Well, maybe not everybody, but the majority of us. Every once in a while, you’ll run into someone who actually prefers veggies over chocolate. We try not to pass judgment.

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


So, we saved caffeine for last because, well, it’s a tough one. This is the one we’re least positive about needing to eliminate. But your sleep cycle can be dramatically affected if you drink any 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 really the caffeine by itself that’s the problem, it’s the lack of sleep. Drink your coffee or tea in the morning, and switch to a non-caffeinated beverage before dinner.

What Are Your Smartest Practices?

This list is certainly not exhaustive. Your hearing expert is the best place to begin regarding the dietary changes you need to undertake. Let’s not forget that dietary adjustments affect everyone differently, so it may even be worth maintaining a food journal where you can track what affects you and by how much.

Moving ahead you will have an easier time making wise choices if you know how some foods affect you. When you start to track what you eat, and what happens to your ears subsequently, you may begin to detect patterns, and that can remove some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.

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.