Hearing Health Blog

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in tinnitus symptoms; it appears difficult to identify why and when these sounds happen. At times, it seems like, for no evident reason what so ever, your ears just begin to buzz. As you lie in bed, you think back over your day, and there are no clear triggers for this episode: There is no noticeable reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is happening, no noisy music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the food. Usually we don’t connect 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 avoid those foods, you need to know what they are.

Which Foods Make Tinnitus Worse?

Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You would like to recognize which foods you should avoid so you can make certain you never have to go through one of those food-produced tinnitus outbreaks again. Here are some foods to avoid:


Alcohol and tobacco should be at the top of the list of items to stay clear of. You will certainly want to abstain from smoking and drinking in order to reduce your risk of a tinnitus episode even though tobacco isn’t actually a food.

Your overall health can be significantly affected by alcohol and tobacco particularly your blood pressure. Your tinnitus is considerably 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 rises, your tinnitus gets worse. That’s the reason why when you set your list of foods to avoid, sodium should be at the top. Whether you love eating french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to ease up a lot.

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

Fast Food

If you’re staying clear of sodium, it should come as no shock that you should also be avoiding fast food. The majority of fast-food restaurants (even the ones that claim they are a healthier choice) serve food that is packed with salt and fat. And, once again, that’s going to have a substantial influence on your blood pressure and, consequently, your tinnitus. Let’s not forget the enormous drinks they serve which are very high in sugar. Which brings us to the next food you should avoid.

Sugars and Sweets

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

Sadly, the glucose balance in your body can be seriously disrupted by sugar. And a small disruption of your glucose balance can cause you to have a difficult time trying to sleep. In the silence of the night, as you lie there awake, it becomes much easier to begin to hear that ringing.


There is an obvious reason why we saved this one for last. This is the one we’re least happy about needing to give up. But drinking caffeine late in the day, whether from soda, tea, or coffee, can really wreck 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 per se that’s the issue, it’s the lack of sleep. Change over to a beverage that doesn’t have caffeine at night and save your caffeine for the morning.

Discover What Works Best For You

This is absolutely not an exhaustive list. Your hearing specialist is the best place to start regarding the dietary adjustments you need to make. Let’s remember that dietary adjustments affect everyone in a different way, so in order to monitor what is working and what isn’t, it might be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Understanding what foods can cause a tinnitus event can help you make smarter decisions going ahead. When you begin keeping track of how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus could become less incomprehensible.

If you go for that last cup of coffee, at least you know what you’re in for.

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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