Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in tinnitus symptoms; they seem to appear and vanish, often for no discernible reason at all. Maybe you’re climbing into bed one night and, seemingly out of nowhere, your ears start ringing badly. No matter how long you lie there and contemplate the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t come up with any triggers in your day: no loud music, no shrieking fire alarms, nothing that could explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So perhaps the food you ate may be the reason. We don’t usually think about the link between hearing and food, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by some foods. In order to steer clear of those foods, it’s important to recognize what they are.

Some Foods That Trigger Tinnitus

So let’s get right to it. You would like to find out what foods you should stay away from so you can make sure you never have to experience one of those food-generated tinnitus attacks again. Certain foods to avoid could include:


High on the list of items to steer clear of are alcohol and tobacco. You will absolutely want to abstain from drinking and smoking in order to lessen your risk of a tinnitus flare up’s even though tobacco isn’t really a food.

Both tobacco and alcohol products can have an enormous impact on your blood pressure (not to mention your general health). The more you drink (and smoke), the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.


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

There are certain foods that are remarkably high in sodium, also, like ice cream (which you don’t normally think of as tasting particularly salty). But to prevent any sudden tinnitus episodes you will need to keep your eye on sodium content.

Fast Food

If you’re avoiding sodium, it should come as no shock that you should also be avoiding fast food. Most fast-food joints (even the ones that claim they are a healthier option) serve food that is jam-packed with salt and fat. And, once again, that’s going to have a substantial impact on your blood pressure and, consequently, your tinnitus. Fast food restaurants also usually serve shockingly big drinks, and those drinks are mostly sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on the list.

Sweets And Sugars

Candy is something that all of us enjoy. Well, maybe not everybody, but the majority of us. There is a very small percentage of the population that would actually prefer vegetables. We try not to pass judgment.

Sadly, sugar can completely throw off the balance of glucose in your body. And a little disturbance of your glucose balance 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.


So, we saved this one for last because, well, it’s a tough one. Quitting this one is a hard pill to swallow. But drinking caffeine late in the day, whether from soda, tea, or coffee, can really mess up your sleep cycle. 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. Have your coffee or tea in the morning, and switch to a non-caffeinated drink before dinner.

What Are Your Smartest Practices?

This is certainly not a comprehensive list. You’ll want to consult your hearing specialist about any dietary modifications you may need to make. And it’s worth remembering that everybody will be impacted in their own way by dietary changes, so it might even be worth maintaining a food journal where you can track what affects you and by how much.

Moving forward you will have an easier time making practical decisions if you know how particular foods affect you. When you begin tracking how your ears react to different foods, the explanation for your tinnitus might become less incomprehensible.

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

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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