Can drinking coffee affect my tinnitus?

November 27, 2023
3 mins
Michael Piskosz
Dr. Fabrice Bardy
The Effects of Caffeine on Tinnitus


Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages in the world and the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning is a comfort for many to help get their day started. According to the National Coffee Association (NCA), 62% of Americans drink coffee daily, with the average drinker consuming 3 cups per day. There are many reasons people drink coffee and it can affect people in different ways, including, in some cases, affecting tinnitus perception. Tinnitus, characterized by the perception of ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in the ears without an external source, affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. While the exact cause of tinnitus can vary, lifestyle factors, including dietary choices, such as coffee consumption, have been explored in relation to its perception.

Moderate coffee consumption can have a variety of benefits, however excessive intake can have unintended negative effects, such as increased tinnitus perception.

The coffee and tinnitus relationship:

Caffeine Content:

- Coffee is known for its caffeine content, which is a central nervous system stimulant.

- Caffeine intake can lead to changes in blood flow, which may influence tinnitus perception.

Mixed Research Findings:

- Studies investigating the relationship between coffee consumption and tinnitus perception have produced mixed results.

- Some individuals report that caffeine exacerbates their tinnitus, while others notice no significant changes or even improvements.

Potential Mechanisms:

- Caffeine can reduce blood flow to the inner ear, affecting auditory function and tinnitus perception.

- Increased stress and anxiety due to caffeine intake might also contribute to tinnitus perception in some cases.

- In addition, increased stress and anxiety causes some people to drink more coffee.

Individual Variability:

- Responses to coffee vary widely among individuals.

- Some tinnitus sufferers may be more sensitive to caffeine, while others may not experience noticeable effects. It’s important to recognize if coffee is a trigger for your tinnitus.

Enjoy your coffee, but moderation is key:

The relationship between coffee consumption and tinnitus perception is complex and varies from person to person. While some individuals may find that caffeine exacerbates their tinnitus, others may experience no significant change. If you have tinnitus and are concerned about the impact of coffee, consider reducing your intake and consume it on a more moderate basis. Reducing caffeine intake or opting for decaffeinated coffee may help manage potential negative effects. In addition, eliminating caffeine close to bedtime, or even in the afternoon can help improve sleep quality.

It’s important for those with tinnitus to monitor their caffeine intake and consider moderation as part of their overall tinnitus management strategy if coffee is negatively affecting them. Additionally, consulting a healthcare professional for personalized guidance is advisable for those concerned about the impact of coffee on their tinnitus

How MindEar can help you in your tinnitus journey

MindEar offers a range of scientifically-backed solutions that can help you manage your tinnitus symptoms effectively. In the MindEar app you will find a soundscape library offering a variety of adjustable soundscapes to help you find the sound sound therapy that works best for you. You can also talk to a tinnitus expert to help determine if a sound masker is right for you. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques are also accessible to provide you with the tools to take control of your condition so that you can live a life without noticing it. MindEar is here to guide you on that journey.

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