Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus flare ups are almost never constant; it seems to be difficult to identify when and why these sounds occur. At times, it seems like, for no apparent reason at all, your ears just begin buzzing. 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: no noisy music, no shrieking fire alarms, nothing that would explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So possibly the food you ate could be the answer. We don’t normally 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 certain foods. The trick for you is determining what those foods are, so you can stay away from them.

Some Foods Which Trigger Tinnitus

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

Alcoholic Beverages

At the top of the list of items to avoid are alcohol and tobacco. You will absolutely want to abstain from drinking and smoking in order to decrease your risk of a tinnitus flare up’s even though tobacco isn’t really a food.

Your overall health can be drastically impacted by alcohol and tobacco specifically your blood pressure. Your tinnitus is progressively more likely to flare up the more you smoke and drink


Your blood pressure is one of the leading predictors of tinnitus flare ups. When your blood pressure goes up, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s why sodium should certainly be on your list of food substances to avoid. You’ll need to substantially decrease your sodium consumption whether you use salt on everything or you just love eating french fries.

There are certain foods that are remarkably high in sodium, also, including ice cream (which you don’t commonly think of as tasting very salty). You’ll want to keep an eye on sodium levels in everything you eat to prevent a surprise tinnitus event.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be surprising that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. The majority of fast-food places (even the ones that bill themselves as a healthier option) serve food that is packed with salt and fat. And, again, that’s going to have a big consequence on your blood pressure and, hence, your tinnitus. Let’s not forget the enormous drinks they serve that are very high in sugar. Yes you guessed it, sugar is next on the list.

Sweets And Sugars

Candy is something that all of us love. Well, the majority of us love candy. Every now and then, you’ll come across someone who actually prefers broccoli over candy. We try not to judge.

Sadly, the glucose balance in your body can be seriously disrupted by sugar. And as you’re trying to fall asleep 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 caffeine for last because, well, it’s a tough one. Quitting this one is a tough pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be significantly impacted if you have any kind of caffeine later in the day. And your tinnitus is more likely to appear if you aren’t getting quality sleep.

It’s actually the lack of sleep, not the caffeine that’s the issue. Drink your coffee or tea in the morning, and switch to a non-caffeinated beverage before dinner.

What Are Your Smartest Practices?

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. You’ll want to talk to your hearing professional about any dietary modifications you might need to make. Let’s not forget that dietary changes affect everyone differently, so it may even be worth keeping a food journal where you can track what affects you and by how much.

Recognizing which foods can lead to a tinnitus event can help you make better choices moving ahead. When you begin tracking how your ears respond to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus could become less incomprehensible.

Then you will recognize 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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