Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in symptoms of tinnitus; they seem to come and go, at times for no discernible reason at all. Sometimes, it seems like, for no apparent reason at all, your ears just begin buzzing. No matter how much you lie there and think about the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t identify any triggers in your day: no noisy music, no shrieking fire alarms, nothing that could explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to mount a flare-up.

So perhaps the food you ate may be the answer. Normally we don’t associate 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 steer clear of those foods, it’s important to know what they are.

What Foods Make Tinnitus Worse?

So let’s get right to it. You won’t want to experience a food triggered tinnitus episode so you need to recognize which foods can cause it. Certain foods to avoid might include:


At the top of the list of items to avoid are tobacco and alcohol. Alright, okay, “tobacco” isn’t actually food, but if you want to lessen tinnitus episodes (and the intensity of those episodes), you’ll abstain from drinking and smoking as much as possible.

Your general health can be significantly affected by alcohol and tobacco specifically your blood pressure. Your tinnitus is increasingly more likely to flare up the more you drink and smoke.


Your blood pressure is one of the most significant predictors of tinnitus episodes. When your blood pressure goes up, your tinnitus gets worse. That’s the reason why sodium should certainly be on your list of food foods to avoid. Whether you enjoy french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to ease up a lot.

There are certain foods that you don’t commonly consider to be high in sodium like ice cream. But to avoid any sudden tinnitus episodes you will need to keep your eye on sodium content.

Fast Food

If you’re steering clear of sodium, it should come as no shock that you should also be avoiding fast food. Even fast food joints that say they are a more healthy alternative serve food that is really high in sodium and fat. And, once again, that’s going to have a huge impact on your blood pressure and, therefore, your tinnitus. Fast food restaurants also normally serve astonishingly big drinks, and those drinks are very high in sugar. Which brings us to the next food to avoid.

Sweets And Sugars

Candy is something that we all love. Well, the majority of us enjoy candy. Every once in a while, you’ll come across someone who actually prefers veggies over chocolate. We try not to pass judgment.

Regrettably, sugar can really throw off the balance of glucose in your body. And a small disturbance 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 ringing and buzzing.


There is an obvious reason why we kept this one for last. Giving this one up is a hard pill to swallow. But having 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 your tinnitus is likely to flare up.

It’s really the lack of sleep, not the caffeine that’s the problem. Switch over to a drink that doesn’t have caffeine in the evenings and save your caffeine for the morning.

Find out What Works Best For You

This list is by no means comprehensive. Your hearing professional is the best place to start when it comes to the dietary modifications you need to undertake. And it’s worth remembering that everybody will be impacted differently by dietary changes, so in order to keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t, it may be a good idea to keep a food journal.

Understanding which foods can lead to a tinnitus episode can help you make more intelligent choices going ahead. When you begin monitoring how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus could become less mysterious.

Then you will appreciate if you are going to be sorry for that late cup of coffee.

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