Tinnitus is the medical term for hearing sounds that come from within one or both of your ears, not from an outside source such as your environment and affect about 11% -20% of people globally. Patients who suffer from tinnitus often experience uncomfortable noises such as popping, humming, whistling, buzzing sounds. The perceived sounds depend on each person and the severity level of their condition.
Many people are often not bothered by the condition until it becomes cumbersome due to its interference with their sleeping pattern, mood, or even the quality of life. But, they might also be worsening their condition by eating certain foods in their diet. In this article, we have compiled a list of foods that worsen tinnitus and these are the ones patients should refrain from consuming further to improve their condition.
What foods worsen tinnitus
If your condition has worsened, keep in mind whether you’ve consumed the following so you can identify them to your doctor. The list is endless but here are the main ones you should start cutting out of your diet if you are still consuming them.
- Fast food: Fast food meals are PACKED with salt, fat, and sugar - 3 components which are extremely unhealthy for you when not consumed in moderation. This will worsen your tinnitus and patients are advised to opt for home-cooked meals where you can control the amount of salt and sugar that goes into it instead of eating delicious fast food meals which contain alarming amounts of salt, sugar and many more. That brings us to the next point of why too much salt is not good for tinnitus.
- Sodium: Tinnitus worsens with high blood pressure, and when you consume too much salt, your body holds “extra water” to cleanse it from your system which in return, may cause your blood pressure to rise. Reduce your intake of sodium by requesting for no salt on food items such as your french fries (you can request for french fries with no salt, the staff will cook a fresh batch for you), or add lesser condiments to your cooking for a healthier meal.
- Sugar: Many of us enjoy sweets - candies, soft drinks, snacks, and standard drinks that perk up your mornings such as teh peng and kopi peng. Unfortunately, with too much sugar, like the previous point of high salt intake, high sugar intake can cause glucose imbalance in your body. High blood sugar levels can damage the nerve that controls how the brain interprets sounds and worsen your existing tinnitus condition. Reduce your intake of junk food with high sugar content and order your drinks with lesser or no sugar.
- Alcohol: Any kind of alcohol like wines, hard liquor and beer can all worsen tinnitus. Like sodium and sugar, drinking alcohol contributes to high blood pressure. It is often recommended that patients suffering from tinnitus should abstain from alcohol.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is not the big problem here, but consuming high levels of it is. The lack of sleep caused by consuming too much caffeine, can ruin the amount of sleep your body can have. Tinnitus already makes sleeping difficult with the constant ringing and buzzing sounds one will experience from within their bodies. With an additional factor of caffeine especially at night, you will be staying awake for longer than usual and not get enough rest to recharge for the next day - which is the start of a vicious cycle in the long run.
This is not the end of the list, do consult your hearing specialist on the dietary changes you may need to apply to improve your tinnitus condition.
What to do when tinnitus worsens
There are several home remedies to lessen tinnitus discomfort first before you seek help for your hearing specialist. Other than limiting the amount of the mentioned foods or abstaining from certain foods (alcohol) in the previous point, you can turn the volume down when you are watching the television or listening to music, as well as wearing hearing protection to reduce hearing damage.
Abstain from smoking if you are a smoker, nicotine has known negative health impacts on your ears and blood supply - increasing the chances of aggravating your tinnitus.
Where to find tinnitus relief in Singapore
If you are feeling immense discomfort with your tinnitus condition or need advice on dietary concerns regarding your condition, don’t worry. You can always book an appointment and consult our hearing professionals at The Listening Lab for tinnitus relief or anything ear/hearing related today.