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HEARING TIPS

The Link Between Tinnitus And Food

Man grimacing from ringing in his ear.

There is an inconsistency in tinnitus symptoms; they seem to come and go, sometimes for no evident reason at all. Perhaps you’re climbing into bed one night and, evidently out of the blue, your ears start ringing something fierce. No matter how much you lie there and think about the reason why you’re hearing this buzzing, you can’t think of any triggers in your day: There is no tangible reason why, at 9 PM, ringing is happening, no loud music, no loud fire alarms, nothing.

So maybe it’s the something you ate. Ordinarily we don’t connect the idea of food with hearing, but there’s a bit of research and evidence to suggest that certain foods can make tinnitus worse. The key for you is learning what those foods are, so you can stay away from them.

Some Foods Which Activate Tinnitus

Let’s just cut right to the chase, shall we? You would like to identify which kind of foods you should stay away from so you can make certain you never have to experience one of those food-generated tinnitus outbreaks again. Certain foods to stay away from may include:

Alcoholic Beverages

At the top of the list of things to steer clear of are tobacco and alcohol. Alright, alright, “tobacco” isn’t necessarily food, but if you want to reduce tinnitus flare up’s (and the intensity of those episodes), you’ll steer clear of drinking and smoking as much as you can.

Both alcohol and tobacco products can have an enormous impact on your blood pressure (to say nothing of your general health). Your tinnitus is progressively more likely to flare up the more you drink and smoke.

Sodium

Your blood pressure is one of the leading predictors of tinnitus episodes. Your tinnitus gets worse when your blood pressure rises. That’s why sodium should absolutely be on your list of food substances to avoid. Whether you love eating french fries or just put salt on everything, you’ll want to cut way, way back.

There are a few foods that you don’t commonly consider high in sodium such as ice cream. But to avoid any sudden tinnitus episodes you will want to keep your eye on sodium content.

Fast Food

If you’re steering clear of sodium, it should come as no surprise that you should also be avoiding fast food. Even fast food places that claim to be 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. Let’s not forget the massive drinks they serve which are extremely high in sugar. Which brings up the next food you should avoid.

Sugars and Sweets

Candy is something that all of us love. Well, maybe not everyone, but most of us. Every once in a while, you’ll run into someone who actually prefers broccoli over candy. No judgment from us.

Sadly, sugar can completely throw off the equilibrium of glucose in your body. And as you’re trying to go to sleep at night, a small disturbance to that balance can mean a lot of tossing and turning. And the more you toss and turn, the more you start listening for that buzzing and ringing.

Caffeine

There’s an apparent reason why we saved this one for last. Giving this one up is a hard pill to swallow. But your sleep cycle can be dramatically affected if you have any kind of caffeine late in the day. And the less quality sleep you get, the more likely your tinnitus is to flare up.

It’s really the lack of sleep, not the caffeine that’s the issue. Have your coffee or tea in the morning, and switch to a non-caffeinated drink before dinner.

What Are Your Best Practices?

This list is certainly not comprehensive. You’ll want to consult your hearing specialist about any dietary modifications you may need to make. Let’s not forget that dietary modifications affect everyone differently, 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.

Recognizing what foods can lead to a tinnitus flare up can help you make smarter decisions going ahead. When you start to track what you eat, and what happens to your ears subsequently, you might begin to notice 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.

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