Tinnitus flare ups are hardly ever continuous; they seem to come and go, at times for no evident reason at all. Perhaps you’re getting into bed one night and, evidently without warning, your ears begin to ring something fierce. No matter how much you lie there and think about the reason why you hear this buzzing, you can’t think of any triggers in your day: There is no noticeable reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is taking place, no noisy music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.
So maybe it’s the something you ate. Ordinarily 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 some foods. The key for you is determining what those foods are, so you can avoid them.
Some Foods That Activate Tinnitus
So let’s get right to it. You would like to know what foods you should stay away from so you can make certain you never have to go through one of those food-produced tinnitus outbreaks again. Some foods to stay away from could include:
At the top of the list of items to stay away from are alcohol and tobacco. Okay, alright, “tobacco” isn’t necessarily food, but if you want to reduce tinnitus attacks (and the intensity of those episodes), you’ll abstain from smoking and drinking as much as you can.
Both alcohol and tobacco products can have a significant impact on your blood pressure (to say nothing of your general health). The more you indulge, the more likely your tinnitus will be to flare up.
Your blood pressure is one of the most significant predictors of tinnitus episodes. When your blood pressure rises, your tinnitus becomes worse. That’s why sodium should certainly be on your list of food foods to stay away from. You’ll need to substantially reduce your sodium consumption whether you put salt on everything or you just love eating french fries.
There are certain foods that you don’t normally consider to be high in sodium like ice cream. You’ll need to watch out for sodium levels in anything you eat to prevent a surprise tinnitus episode.
If you’re staying away from sodium, it should come as no shock that you should also be avoiding fast food. Even fast food joints that boast of being a more healthy option serve food that is really high in fat and sodium. And, clearly, your blood pressure and your tinnitus will be adversely affected by this type of diet. Fast food restaurants also normally serve astonishingly big drinks, and those beverages are very high in sugar. Which brings up the next food to avoid.
Sugars and Sweets
We all love candy. Well, most of us love candy. Every once in a while, you’ll come across someone who sincerely prefers veggies over candy. No judgment here.
Sadly, sugar can completely throw off the balance of glucose in your body. And a tiny disruption of your glucose balance can cause you to have a difficult time sleeping. And the more you toss and turn, the more you begin to listen for that buzzing and ringing.
There’s an apparent reason why we saved this one for last. Quitting this one is a tough pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be dramatically affected if you have any kind of caffeine later in the day. And your tinnitus is more likely to flare up if you don’t get quality sleep.
So it’s not really the caffeine by itself that’s the problem, it’s the lack of sleep. Change over to a drink that doesn’t have caffeine in the evenings and save your caffeine for the morning.
What Are Your Smartest Practices?
This list is certainly not exhaustive. You’ll want to talk to your hearing specialist about any dietary changes you might need to make. And it’s worth remembering that everyone will be impacted differently by dietary adjustments, so in order to keep track of 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 to track what you eat, and what happens to your ears subsequently, you might begin to notice patterns, and that can take some of the mystery out of your tinnitus symptoms.
Then you will recognize if you are going to be sorry for that late cup of coffee.