Sharing is caring!

Tinnitus is an auditory condition characterized by the ringing of the ears. Some people have it worse than others and some can’t seem to get rid of it. Did you know that there could very well be a link between tinnitus and the foods you eat? So, what are the main 10 foods that could cause tinnitus to occur, or at least ones that make the symptoms worse?

  1. Salt

Salt is one of the ingredients in food which can cause tinnitus symptoms to flare up or worsen. Salt has the effect of restricting blood vessels, restricting blood flow, and increasing blood pressure. In turn, this means that blood flow to the eyes, ears, and brain is reduced.

High blood pressure is often associated with the worsening of tinnitus symptoms. Many people will complain about the ringing shortly after ingesting salty snacks and foods. Most people will report a reduction in ringing when salt intake is limited.

  1. Coffee

Another thing which many people ingest that can cause tinnitus symptoms to become worse is coffee. Now, we are talking about caffeine here, not just coffee. So, really anything that contains a lot of caffeine could cause tinnitus symptoms. This includes soda, energy drinks, coffee, and other such substances.

Just like with salt, caffeine has the effect of restricting blood flow and increasing blood pressure, both things which are linked to the flaring up of tinnitus symptoms. You might want to try switching to decaffeinated coffee if you want that ringing to go away.

  1. Sugar

This is a bit of a complicated one, but sugar is also often linked to tinnitus symptoms. Just like the brain, your inner ear has none of its own energy reserves. In other words, it depends directly on the sugar and oxygen in the bloodstream for proper metabolism.

It has been proven that an excessive amount of sugar in the bloodstream can disrupt the way the inner ear works. This has to do with the fact that up to 92% of tinnitus sufferers also have something called hyperinsulinemia, which is the elevation of insulin levels in the blood. There is a lot more to it than this, but rest assured that sugar will not help.

  1. MSG

Monosodium glutamate, simply known as MSG, is a substance used in many foods which have the effect of enhancing flavours and can also act as a preservative. The problem with MSG is that it is an excitatory neurotransmitter, which means that it greatly increases the amount of electrical activity in the brain. In turn, this causes the auditory cortex to become overstimulated, thus worsening the ringing noise which characterizes tinnitus. MSG is present in a lot of foods, not just Chinese takeout, but with a little diligence, you should be able to eliminate it from your diet.

  1. Processed Meats

Processed meats are bad to eat either way, but they are also very bad for people with tinnitus. Processed meats like those slices of bologna often contain a lot of salt, trans fats, saturated fats, and even MSG sometimes. The problem here is of course that all of those substances have the effect of reducing blood flow and increasing blood pressure, both things which are not ideal for people with tinnitus.

  1. Processed Cheeses

Another type of processed food that can cause tinnitus symptoms, or make existing symptoms worse, is any kind of processed cheese. These cheeses are also very high in sodium, trans fats, and saturated fats.

Just like with the processed meats, the processed cheese will lead to increased blood pressure and reduced blood flow, thus causing or worsening the symptoms of tinnitus. Normal cheese is better, but still not fantastic. At any rate, you should stay away from those processed cheese slices if you want to avoid tinnitus symptoms.

  1. Butter

We all know that butter is not great for you. Between the heart, cholesterol, and your gut, butter does not do anybody any favours. However, it can also cause tinnitus symptoms or make them worse if you already have tinnitus.

Butter is well known for restricting blood flow, something which has been proven to cause tinnitus symptoms. You do need to be careful here, especially with butter substitutes, because things like margarine are still high in trans and saturated fats that will also do nothing but make things worse.

  1. Candy Bars

Candy bars are another one of those things that you should stay away from if tinnitus is involved. When it comes down to it, candy bars are really unhealthy in many different ways.

They contain a ton of sugar, a lot of trans and saturated fats, they do have quite a bit of sodium in them, and they tend to be filled to the brim with artificial flavours and preservatives. In one way or another, all of these things cause restricted blood flow and increased blood pressure. If you don’t have tinnitus yet, eating a lot of candy bars might just cause it to develop.

  1. Sulphite

Sulphites are a naturally occurring substance, but that doesn’t mean that they are healthy. They are often used in wine and other foods as a preservative. While they do work to make sure that food and drinks do not go bad, they have been linked to causing and worsening of tinnitus symptoms. People who suffer from a sulphite intolerance have an especially high chance of developing tinnitus when a lot of these sulphites are consumed.

  1. Alcohol

Ok, so alcohol may not be a food per se, but it is still no good when tinnitus is involved. Alcohol usually contains quite a bit of sugar, it causes severe dehydration, and it restricts blood flow while also increasing blood pressure. The bottom line is that many people with tinnitus report that any kind of alcohol makes the symptoms much worse.


You should avoid these foods if you want the symptoms of your tinnitus to decrease. It might be a hard choice, but it is up to you.