Gold Country Hearing - Gold Country Valley, CA

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus flare ups are not usually constant; it seems difficult to identify why and when these sounds happen. Perhaps you’re getting into bed one night and, apparently out of nowhere, your ears start ringing something fierce. No matter how much you lie there and consider the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t think of any triggers during your day: There is no noticeable reason why, at 9 PM, ringing starts happening, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So possibly the food you ate might be the answer. We don’t usually think about the connection between food and hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by certain foods. In order to stay away from those foods, you need to find out what they are.

What Foods Make Tinnitus Worse?

Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You would like to recognize which foods you should avoid so you can make certain you never have to go through one of those food-produced tinnitus attacks again. Here are some foods to stay away from:

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcohol and tobacco should be at the top of the list of things to avoid. You will certainly want to avoid smoking and drinking so that you can lessen your risk of a tinnitus episode even though tobacco isn’t actually a food.

Both alcohol and tobacco products can have an enormous impact on your blood pressure (to say nothing of your total health). Your tinnitus is considerably more likely to flare up the more you smoke and drink


One of the most useful predictors of tinnitus episodes is your blood pressure. When your blood pressure goes up, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s why sodium should certainly be on your list of food foods to stay away from. You’ll need to significantly decrease your sodium intake whether you use salt on everything or you just love to eat french fries.

There are a few foods that you don’t commonly consider high in sodium including ice cream. But to avoid any sudden tinnitus episodes you will need to keep track of sodium content.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be shocking that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. Even fast food joints that claim to be a more healthy option serve food that is really high in fat and sodium. And, again, that’s going to have a big consequence on your blood pressure and, therefore, your tinnitus. Fast food outlets also tend to serve astonishingly huge beverages, and those drinks are mostly sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on this list.

Sweets And Sugars

We all love candy. Well, maybe not everyone, but most of us. There is a very small percentage of the public that would actually prefer vegetables. No judgment from us.

Sadly, sugar can really throw off the balance of glucose in your body. And as you’re attempting to fall asleep at night, a little disruption to that balance can mean a lot of tossing and turning. And the more you toss and turn, the more you begin to listen for that buzzing and ringing.


So, we saved caffeine for last because, well, we get it. This is the one we’re least pleased about needing to give up. But drinking caffeine late in the day, whether from coffee, tea, or soda, can really mess up your sleep cycle. And the less quality sleep you get, the more your tinnitus is likely to flare up.

It’s actually 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 exhaustive. Your hearing professional is the best place to start when it comes to the dietary changes you need to make. Let’s not forget that dietary modifications affect everyone in a unique way, so it could even be worth maintaining a food journal where you can keep track of what affects you and by how much.

Going forward you will have an easier time making smart choices if you understand how particular foods affect you. When you begin tracking how your ears respond to different foods, the explanation for your tinnitus may become less mysterious.

If you have that last cup of coffee, at least you know what you’re in for.

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