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Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in symptoms of tinnitus; they seem to come and go, often for no discernible reason at all. Occasionally, it seems like, for no evident reason at all, your ears just begin to buzz. No matter how much you lie in bed and think about the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t think of any triggers in your day: no loud music, no screeching fire alarms, nothing that might explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So perhaps the food you ate may be the answer. We don’t generally think about the link between hearing and food, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that some foods can make tinnitus worse. The secret for you is identifying what those foods are, so you can avoid them.

Some Foods That Trigger Tinnitus

So let’s get right to it. You would like to identify what foods you should stay away from so you can be sure you never have to go through one of those food-generated tinnitus outbreaks again. Certain foods to stay away from might include:

Alcoholic Drinks

At the top of the list of items to stay away from are tobacco and alcohol. You will definitely want to abstain from drinking and smoking so that you can reduce your chance of a tinnitus flare up’s despite the fact that tobacco isn’t really a food.

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


One of the best predictors of tinnitus episodes is your blood pressure. Your tinnitus gets worse when your blood pressure rises. That’s why when you set your list of foods to stay away from, sodium should be at the top. 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 normally consider high in sodium such as ice cream. You’ll need to keep an eye on sodium levels in anything you eat to avoid a surprise tinnitus event.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be surprising that you should stay away from fast food if you are avoiding sodium. Even fast food places that say they are a more healthy alternative serve food that is very high in fat and sodium. And, of course, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be negatively impacted by this type of diet. Fast food restaurants also normally serve shockingly large drinks, and those beverages are mostly sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on the list.

Sweets And Sugars

We all love candy. Well, most of us love candy. There is a very small percentage of the public that would actually prefer veggies. We try not to pass judgment.

However, the glucose balance in your body can be greatly disrupted by sugar. And as you’re trying to get to sleep at night, a small disturbance to that balance can mean a lot of tossing and turning. 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. Quitting this one is a tough pill to swallow. But using 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 likely your tinnitus is to flare up.

So it’s not actually the caffeine by itself that’s the issue, 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 is definitely not an exhaustive list. You’ll want to talk to your hearing expert about any dietary modifications you may need to make. And it’s worth keeping in mind that everyone will be affected in their own way by dietary adjustments, 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 understand how some foods affect you. When you begin keeping track of how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus may become less mysterious.

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.