Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in symptoms of tinnitus; it seems difficult to understand why and when these sounds happen. Maybe you’re getting into bed one night and, seemingly without warning, your ears start ringing something fierce. No matter how much you lie in bed and contemplate the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t come up with any triggers during your day: There is no tangible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is taking place, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So perhaps the food you ate might be the reason. Normally we don’t associate the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by some foods. In order to avoid those foods, you need to find out what they are.

Some Foods Which Trigger Tinnitus

So let’s get right to it. You want to find out which kind of foods you should stay away from so you can make certain you never have to go through one of those food-produced tinnitus attacks again. Certain foods to stay away from may include:

Alcoholic Beverages

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

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


One of the most useful predictors of tinnitus flare-ups is your blood pressure. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s the reason why sodium should absolutely be on your list of food substances to stay away from. Whether you enjoy french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to cut way, way back.

There are a few foods that you don’t commonly consider high in sodium including ice cream. You’ll want to keep an eye on sodium levels in everything you eat to avoid a surprise tinnitus episode.

Fast Food

If you’re steering clear of sodium, it should come as no surprise that you should also be avoiding fast food. Even fast food places that say they are a more healthy alternative serve food that is extremely high in fat and sodium. And, once again, that’s going to have a big impact on your blood pressure and, hence, your tinnitus. Let’s not forget the giant drinks they serve which are extremely high in sugar. Which brings us to the next food you should avoid.

Sweets And Sugars

Candy is something that all of us love. Well, maybe not everybody, but most of us. Every once in a while, you’ll encounter someone who genuinely prefers broccoli over candy. No judgment here.

Unfortunately, the glucose balance in your body can be significantly disrupted by sugar. And as you’re attempting to go to sleep at night, a small disruption to that balance can mean lots of tossing and turning. 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. This is the one we’re least positive about needing to eliminate. But your sleep cycle can be substantially impacted if you have any caffeine late in the day. And your tinnitus is more likely to appear if you don’t get quality sleep.

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

What Are Your Best Practices?

This list is by no means comprehensive. You’ll want to consult your hearing specialist about any dietary adjustments you might need to make. And it’s worth bearing in mind that everyone will be impacted differently by dietary adjustments, so it may even be worth maintaining a food journal where you can keep track of what affects you and by how much.

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

Then you will know 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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