Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

Tinnitus flare ups are not usually continuous; they seem to appear and vanish, sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Occasionally, it seems like, for no evident reason at all, your ears just begin to buzz. No matter how long you lie there and consider the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t think of any triggers in your day: There is no apparent reason why, at 9 PM, ringing starts taking place, no noisy music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the something you ate. We don’t generally think about the connection between hearing and food, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that certain foods can make tinnitus worse. In order to steer clear of those foods, you need to recognize what they are.

Some Foods Which Activate Tinnitus

Let’s just dive right in, shall we? You would like to find out which foods you should avoid so you can make sure you never have to go through one of those food-generated tinnitus episodes again. Here are some foods to avoid:

Alcoholic Beverages

At the top of the list of things to steer clear of are tobacco and alcohol. You will definitely want to avoid smoking and drinking so that you can lessen your chance of a tinnitus episode even though tobacco isn’t actually a food.

Your general health can be substantially affected by tobacco and alcohol particularly your blood pressure. The more you indulge, the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.


One of the best predictors of tinnitus episodes is your blood pressure. Your tinnitus worsens when your blood pressure goes up. That’s why sodium should certainly be on your list of food substances to avoid. You’ll need to drastically decrease your sodium intake whether you use salt on everything or you just love eating french fries.

There are some foods that are remarkably high in sodium, also, including ice cream (which you don’t commonly think of as tasting especially salty). But to avoid any sudden tinnitus episodes you will want to keep your eye on sodium content.

Fast Food

It shouldn’t be surprising that you should stay away from fast food if you are avoiding sodium. Even fast food joints that say they are a more healthy alternative serve food that is extremely high in sodium and fat. And, of course, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be adversely affected by this kind of diet. Let’s not forget the giant drinks they serve which are extremely high in sugar. Which brings us to the next food to avoid.

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 broccoli over candy. We try not to pass judgment.

Sad to say, the glucose balance in your body can be significantly disrupted by sugar. And a small disruption of your glucose stability can cause you to have a difficult time trying to sleep. 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 caffeine for last because, well, it’s a tough one. Giving this one up is a tough pill to swallow. But using caffeine late in the day, whether from coffee, tea, or soda, can really mess up your sleep cycle. And the worse your quality of sleep, the more likely your tinnitus is to flare up.

So it’s not really the caffeine per se that’s the issue, it’s the lack of sleep. Change over to a beverage that doesn’t have caffeine at night and save your caffeine for the morning.

What Are Your Smartest Practices?

This list is by no means exhaustive. You’ll want to speak with your hearing specialist about any dietary adjustments you may need to make. Let’s not forget that dietary changes impact everyone differently, so in order to monitor what works and what doesn’t, it may be a smart idea to keep a food journal.

Going forward you will have an easier time making wise decisions if you recognize how particular foods affect you. When you begin to track what you eat, and what happens to your ears afterward, you might begin to note patterns, and that can remove some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.

Then you will recognize if you are going to regret 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.

Call or text us for a no-obligation evaluation.

Call or Text Us

Call us today.

Call Us Now