Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus symptoms are not usually continuous; it appears difficult to identify why and when these sounds happen. Occasionally, it seems like, for no recognizable reason what so ever, your ears just start to buzz. No matter how much you lie in bed and think about the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t think of any triggers during your day: There is no tangible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is happening, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the something you ate. Typically we don’t connect the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that certain foods can make tinnitus worse. The key for you is knowing what those foods are, so you can stay away from them.

Which Foods Make Tinnitus Worse?

So let’s get right to it. You don’t want to go through a food triggered tinnitus episode so it’s important to identify which foods can trigger it. Certain foods to avoid might include:

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol and tobacco should be high on the list of items to stay away from. You will absolutely want to avoid smoking and drinking so that you can reduce your chance of a tinnitus episode 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. The more you drink (and smoke), the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.


Your blood pressure is one of the biggest predictors of tinnitus flare ups. Your tinnitus worsens when your blood pressure rises. That’s the reason why sodium should definitely be on your list of food foods to stay away from. You’ll want to drastically decrease your sodium consumption whether you put salt on everything or you just love eating french fries.

There are certain foods that you don’t commonly consider to be high in sodium like ice cream. You’ll need to keep an eye on sodium levels in everything you eat to prevent a surprise tinnitus episode.

Fast Food

If you’re steering clear of sodium, it should come as no shock that you should also be avoiding fast food. The majority of fast-food places (even the ones that claim they are a healthier choice) serve food that is jam-packed with salt and fat. And, clearly, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be adversely impacted by this type of diet. Let’s not forget the massive drinks they serve that are very high in sugar. Which brings us to the next food you should avoid.

Sugars and Sweets

Candy is something that all of us enjoy. Well, most of us enjoy candy. There is a very small portion of the populace that would actually prefer veggies. We try not to pass judgment.

Sadly, sugar can completely throw off the stability of glucose in your body. And as you’re trying to go to sleep at night, a little disturbance to that balance can mean a lot of tossing and turning. In the quiet of the night, while you lie there awake, it becomes much easier to begin to hear that ringing.


So, we saved caffeine for last because, well, we get it. This is the one we’re least pleased about needing to eliminate. But having 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 likely your tinnitus is to flare up.

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

Discover What Works Best For You

This is certainly not a comprehensive list. Your hearing specialist is the ideal place to begin regarding the dietary modifications you need to undertake. And it’s worth keeping in mind that everybody will be affected in their own way by dietary adjustments, so in order to keep an eye on 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 wise choices if you know how certain foods affect you. When you start tracking what you eat, and what happens to your ears afterward, you might start to detect patterns, and that can remove some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.

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

Why wait? You don’t have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today