Can Your Diet Affect Ringing in Your Ears

Man in black suit drinking coffee in front of laptop

If you’ve been noticing how the food you eat might affect the ringing in your ears, you might opt to adjust your diet by avoiding sweets or switching to decaf. Whatever your particular trigger food is, it can be difficult to pinpoint without understanding the scientific link between one’s diet and the ringing known as tinnitus. Though hearing impairments aren’t commonly caused by a specific diet, certain foods can aggravate tinnitus that includes the following.

1. Coffee

There are dozens of reasons to quit caffeine altogether or at least switch to decaf options—that includes caffeine triggering stress responses and aggravating tinnitus. However, note that withdrawals may also exacerbate your symptoms. If such is the case, consider limiting the amount of coffee you consume in a week or switch to purely decaf products.

2. Salt

Too much intake of sodium can worsen symptoms of tinnitus because of an increase in blood pressure. When blood vessels are subject to more constriction, they can’t circulate as efficiently, causing an increase in tinnitus noise. Be sure to balance out your intake of salty snacks and processed foods to avoid other health risks as well. 

3. Saturated Fats

Though undeniably tempting, cheese, butter, and red meat can increase cholesterol levels and eventually lead to atherosclerosis or intensify hearing loss. Atherosclerosis, which is a restriction to blood flow, can contribute to tinnitus and even increase a patient’s risk factor for heart disease and stroke. 

4. Sugar

If you’re a fan of chocolate and candy, we have a bit of bad news for you. Especially for those suffering from diabetes, there is often a noticeable increase in tinnitus symptoms after indulging in sugary foods. Because the eyes, ears, and brain depend on the level of oxygen and glucose within a person’s blood supply, hearing can become negatively affected if glucose levels rise too high. As a general rule, limit your sugar intake to once or twice a week and in low doses. 

5. Alcohol

Because alcohol contains sugar, those suffering from tinnitus have claimed an inability to consume as much alcohol as others or that the intake of alcohol amplifies the ringing in their ears. Not to mention, alcohol can also cause dehydration and increase blood pressure, which are contributing factors to tinnitus. 

What Do Experts Say?

When it comes to what experts believe impacts tinnitus most, medical opinions differ regarding diet. As research on the specific issue is still sparse, how dietary changes affect a patient are entirely up to their preferences and symptoms. 

An important thing to keep in mind is that all bodies react to chemicals and ingredients differently. Thus, if you notice that a specific food seems to aggravate your condition, avoid it or limit your intake. 


When making changes to your diet to relieve the symptoms of tinnitus, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider first. You might find that your favourite foods might not be exacerbating your tinnitus symptoms at all and that it may be caused by something else entirely. 

If you’re experiencing sudden hearing loss that you feel may be connected to your diet, give us a call at Fraser Valley Beltone. If you’re located in Langley or Abbotsford, we can provide you with premium hearing aid solutions that are customized to your needs.

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