Hearing Health Blog

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus symptoms are almost never constant; they seem to appear and disappear, often for no apparent reason at all. Occasionally, it seems as if, for no recognizable reason what so ever, your ears just begin to buzz. No matter how much you lie there and think about the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t come up with any triggers during your day: no noisy music, no shrieking fire alarms, nothing that might explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So maybe it’s the food. Ordinarily we don’t link 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.

Which Foods Worsen Tinnitus?

So let’s get right to it. You don’t want to go through a food triggered tinnitus episode so you need to know what foods can trigger it. Certain foods to avoid could include:

Alcoholic Beverages

At the top of the list of items to steer clear of are tobacco and alcohol. You will certainly want to avoid smoking and drinking so that you can reduce your chance of a tinnitus flare up’s even though tobacco isn’t actually a food.

Both alcohol and tobacco products can have a significant impact on your blood pressure (not to mention your total health). The more you indulge, the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.


Your blood pressure is one of the biggest predictors of tinnitus episodes. Your tinnitus worsens when your blood pressure rises. That’s why when you create your list of foods to avoid, sodium should be at the top. You’ll need to substantially reduce your sodium consumption whether you use salt on everything or you just love to eat french fries.

There are many foods that are surprisingly high in sodium, too, like ice cream (which you don’t commonly think of as tasting very salty). But to prevent any sudden tinnitus episodes you will want to keep your eye on sodium content.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be shocking that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. The majority of fast-food places (even the ones that claim they are a healthier alternative) serve food that is packed with salt and fat. And, clearly, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be adversely impacted by this type of diet. Let’s not forget the massive 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 all of us love. Well, maybe not everybody, but most of us. There is a very small portion of the population that would actually prefer veggies. No judgment from us.

Regrettably, the glucose balance in your body can be seriously disrupted by sugar. And a tiny disruption of your glucose stability can cause you to have a difficult time sleeping. And the more you toss and turn, the more you start listening for that buzzing and ringing.


So, we saved this one for last because, well, we get it. Giving this one up is a tough pill to swallow. But drinking caffeine late in the day, whether from soda, tea, or coffee, can really ruin 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. Switch over to a beverage that doesn’t have caffeine in the evenings and save your caffeine for the morning.

Discover What Works Best For You

This list is by no means comprehensive. Your hearing expert is the best place to begin concerning the dietary modifications you need to undertake. Let’s not forget that dietary adjustments affect everyone in a unique way, so in order to monitor what is working and what isn’t, it might be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

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

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


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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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