Did You Know That Food And Tinnitus Have a Link?

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus flare ups are almost never continuous; it seems difficult to understand why and when these sounds happen. At times, it seems like, for no evident reason at all, your ears just start buzzing. No matter how much you lie in bed and consider the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t identify any triggers during your day: no loud music, no shrieking fire alarms, nothing that would explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So maybe it’s the something you ate. We don’t usually think about the link 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 identify what they are.

What Foods Worsen Tinnitus?

So let’s get right to it. You don’t want to experience a food triggered tinnitus event so it’s important to recognize which foods can trigger it. Here are some foods to stay away from:

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol and tobacco should be high on the list of items to avoid. You will definitely want to abstain from drinking and smoking in order to decrease your risk of a tinnitus episode even though tobacco isn’t really a food.

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


One of the most useful predictors of tinnitus episodes is your blood pressure. Your tinnitus worsens when your blood pressure rises. That’s the reason why when you make your list of foods to avoid, sodium needs to be at the top. Whether you love eating french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to cut way, way back.

There are certain foods that are remarkably high in sodium, also, such as ice cream (which you don’t normally think of as tasting very salty). You’ll want to keep close track of sodium levels in anything you eat to avoid a surprise tinnitus episode.

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 boast of being a more healthy alternative serve food that is extremely high in sodium and fat. And, once again, that’s going to have a big consequence on your blood pressure and, therefore, your tinnitus. Fast food restaurants also tend to serve shockingly huge drinks, and those drinks are mostly sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on the list.

Sugars and Sweets

We all love candy. Well, maybe not everyone, but the majority of us. Every once in a while, you’ll run into someone who genuinely prefers veggies over candy. We try not to judge.

Sadly, sugar can completely throw off the stability of glucose in your body. And a tiny disruption of your glucose balance can cause you to have a hard time sleeping. And the more you toss and turn, the more you start listening for that ringing and buzzing.


So, we saved this one for last because, well, it’s a tough one. Quitting this one is a hard pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be significantly affected if you drink any caffeine late in the day. And your tinnitus is more likely to flare up if you don’t get quality sleep.

It’s actually the lack of sleep, not the caffeine that’s the issue. Switch over to a beverage that doesn’t have caffeine at night and save your caffeine for the morning.

What Are Your Smartest Practices?

This is absolutely not a comprehensive list. Your hearing specialist is the ideal place to begin when it comes to the dietary modifications you need to undertake. And it’s worth remembering that everybody will be affected in their own way by dietary adjustments, so in order to monitor what works and what doesn’t, it might be a good idea to keep a food journal.

Knowing what foods can cause a tinnitus episode can help you make wiser decisions going ahead. When you start keeping track of how your ears react to different foods, the reason for your tinnitus may become less incomprehensible.

If you go for that evening 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.


    Hearing Aids By Tricia Leagjeld

    Redmond, OR

    708 SW 11th StreetRedmond, OR 97756On the corner of Glacier (Hwy 126) and 11th

    Call or Text: 541-640-5354

    Monday through Friday
    9am – 4:30pm

    Find out how we can help!

    Call or Text Us