Image of a dinner table filled with foods thought to make ringing in the ears worse.

 

Does your tinnitus sometimes get worse? Do you need relief from the incessant ringing in your ears? It’s a little-known fact that some foods make tinnitus worse.

Food has always been an important part of Emilio’s life. Any time his family had a reason to celebrate, a banquet of dishes was always on the table with family around to enjoy them.

He has fond memories of enjoying arroz con pollo prepared by his mother, a cook above reproach, at the table with his father, brother, and his two uncles.

Even today, visiting grandma for Sunday dinner is the highlight of his teenage daughters’ week. But more recently, Emilio has noticed something. As he and the family settle into the living room for casual conversation after dinner, he can no longer enjoy himself.

The subtle ringing that he normally experiences in his left ear gets really loud.

Often he’s struggling to hear his brother who’s sitting right next to him. While he’s had tinnitus for nearly 5 years now, it gets really distracting during these episodes.

He thought it was something in the house like a chemical or allergen. But as he did some online research, he found out that there are foods that make tinnitus worse.

What Is Tinnitus?

People with tinnitus experience a ringing, or other sound, in their ears. They hear it even when there’s no external reason for the sound.

Certain triggers may make these sounds worse. And few people know that food is a prime suspect.

Although food doesn’t necessarily trigger the symptoms of tinnitus, certain foods can worsen the problem. If you have tinnitus, you may find relief by eliminating some, if not all, of the following foods and beverages from your diet.

1. Foods that Raise Blood Sugar

Increases in your insulin or blood sugar levels may increase your tinnitus symptoms. Hyperinsulinemia is caused by a high blood sugar level. Reduced it by limiting your intake of refined carbohydrates and sweets.

Before he found out what was happening, Emilio never passed up an extra piece of pie when offered. Now, he’s learned to resist that temptation so that he can hear better and enjoy time with family.

Attempt to keep your carbohydrate intake spread out evenly through the day. This may help to keep your blood sugar levels within recommended range. It can ultimately help to reduce or relieve the ringing in your ears.

Doesn’t that sound great?

2. Foods that Raise Cholesterol

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of symptoms. It results from:

  • High triglycerides
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol

Each of these alone can make tinnitus worse. But together, it may become a nightmare.

Studies have shown that people who suffer from metabolic syndrome and tinnitus can reduce tinnitus symptoms when they improved these 3 elements.

For example, the foods that make tinnitus worse often have high levels of trans or saturated fats. Or they may include animal-based foods.

By limiting these foods and eating more plant-based protein foods, you’ll get your fat mainly from unsaturated fats. This can lower your cholesterol and reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.

3. Salt and Foods Containing Salicylates

Tonic water, alcohol, cheese and very salty snacks are foods that make tinnitus worse for some people.

This is especially true for people who have problems with food allergens and/or foods that contain salicylates. These foods include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Tea
  • Berries
  • Almonds

Emilio chose to avoid peach cobbler and foods that contain a lot of cheese after learning about this connection and got some relief.

4. Caffeine

There’s some “conflict” when it comes to caffeine and its effect on tinnitus. There’s no sure-fire evidence that has proven one way or the other that caffeine may increase (or decrease) the symptoms of tinnitus.

But there’s agreement on the fact that caffeine is a stimulant. It contains diuretic properties. That means it causes you to excrete more urine.

Stress and loss of body fluids are both triggers of tinnitus.

Track Foods that Make Tinnitus Worse for You

Tinnitus is a very personalized type of symptom. Foods that make tinnitus worse for someone else may not faze you.

Keep a diary to record your own personal experiences with tinnitus symptoms. Increase or decrease caffeine use, saturated fats and the other foods listed here and track how your body responds. Find out for yourself.

It’s extremely important that you keep a record of your symptoms. Note any foods and/or beverages you consumed just prior to experiencing the worsened symptoms of tinnitus.

This will help to eliminate the foods that seem to worsen your symptoms.

The best way to determine if it is indeed a particular food or beverage is to eliminate the food after having symptoms. After a few weeks, add the food back into your diet in order to verify that your ringing gets louder or is more distracting.

This is exactly what Emilio did. Now, he’s back to enjoying family events. He hasn’t given up most foods he loves completely. He’s learned how to eat certain items in moderation and avoid the rest.

Using a food diary really helped him nail down which foods make tinnitus worse for him.

Need more information on how to manage your tinnitus? Check out our blog.