Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus flare ups are rarely continuous; it seems difficult to identify why and when these sounds happen. Maybe you’re getting into bed one night and, apparently out of the blue, your ears begin to ring something fierce. As you lie in bed, you consider your day, and there aren’t any clear causes for this event: no noisy music, no shrieking fire alarms, nothing that could explain why your tinnitus chose 9 PM to flare up.

So maybe it’s the something you ate. Typically we don’t link the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that tinnitus can be made worse by particular foods. In order to avoid those foods, you need to recognize what they are.

Some Foods Which Activate Tinnitus

Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You want to know which foods you should avoid so you can make certain you never have to go through one of those food-generated tinnitus attacks again. Certain foods to stay away from might include:


Alcohol and tobacco should be high on the list of items to stay away from. You will definitely want to abstain from drinking and smoking in order to lessen your chance of a tinnitus episode despite the fact that tobacco isn’t really a food.

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


Your blood pressure is one of the leading predictors of tinnitus episodes. Your tinnitus worsens when your blood pressure rises. That’s why when you set your list of foods to stay away from, sodium needs to be at the top. You’ll need to substantially decrease your sodium intake whether you put salt on everything or you just love eating french fries.

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

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be surprising that you should avoid fast food if you are avoiding sodium. The majority of fast-food restaurants (even the ones that claim they are a healthier alternative) serve food that is jam-packed with salt and fat. And, again, that’s going to have a huge consequence on your blood pressure and, therefore, your tinnitus. Fast food restaurants also normally serve shockingly large drinks, and those drinks 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 enjoy candy. From time to time, you’ll come across someone who sincerely prefers veggies over chocolate. We try not to pass judgment.

Unfortunately, the glucose balance in your body can be greatly disrupted by sugar. And a small disturbance of your glucose stability can cause you to have a hard time sleeping. In the quiet of the night, while you lie there awake, it becomes a lot easier to begin to hear that ringing.


So, we saved this one for last because, well, it’s a tough one. Giving this one up is a tough pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be significantly affected if you drink any kind of 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. Switch over to a drink that doesn’t have caffeine in the evenings and save your caffeine for the morning.

Discover What Works Best For You

This is absolutely not a comprehensive list. Your hearing expert is the best place to begin when it comes to the dietary changes you need to make. Let’s remember that dietary changes affect everyone differently, so it could even be worth keeping a food journal where you can keep track of what impacts you and by how much.

Moving ahead you will have an easier time making smart decisions if you understand how some foods affect you. When you begin tracking how your ears react to different foods, the cause of your tinnitus may become less mysterious.

If you decide on that evening of coffee, at least you know what you’re in for.

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