Caffeine (Including Coffee and Soft Drinks) and Its Effect on Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by mike, Apr 1, 2012.

    1. mike

      mike Member

      Location:
      Franklin ohio
      Tinnitus Since:
      1 1/2 months
      Does it affect everything like they say? Coffee and diet drinks... all the diet sweeteners out there, what does those do?

      Just trying to get some thoughts from everyone.
       
    2. Tha_b_man

      Tha_b_man Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/1/2009
      I consume about 150mg of caffeine a day and it doesn't seem to affect my tinnitus. I don't consume diet sweetener enough to offer any thoughts.
       
    3. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Hi,

      Ever since the onset of my pulsatile tinnitus, I quit all coffee (caffeine) and any alcohol, per doctor's orders. I suppose that's good for me.

      In the future, I’d like to have a glass of wine with the wife.

      Do any of you tinnitus sufferers drink alcohol in small moderation?

      Will drinking any alcohol make the tinnitus worse?

      Or coffee for that matter.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    4. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      James,
      I have pulsating tinnitus. On the advice of my doctor, I did the same thing you did; I quit drinking caffeinated drinks and alcohol.

      However, recently I've found that it doesn't hurt, and doesn't seem to affect my tinnitus, if I have an occasional glass of iced tea, or an occasional glass of wine. It's just that, most of the time, I drink water, fruit juice, and decaffeinated beverages.

      I don't think an occasional drink will be a problem. Of course, I'm no doctor, but from my own experience, there was no change in my tinnitus.
       
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    5. James
      No Mood

      James Member Benefactor

      Location:
      California
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pulsing 03/2013
      Thanks Karen,
      I'll give it some time.
      I want part of my old life back, (before tinnitus).
       
    6. Karen
      Talkative

      Karen Manager Staff Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      U.S.
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      First time: Noise 2nd Time: Ototoxic drug
      James,
      I certainly understand! It took me awhile before I was even brave enough to try drinking any caffeine again. It's been almost 3 years for me since the pulsating/loud ringing began. I'm feeling much, much better now than when it began.

      You're right to give it some time; take it slowly, and know that things will get better!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      I found that alcohol had no affect on my tinnitus, or caffeine. Caffeine definitely can set off anxiety if you're worried about your tinnitus though. Although mine is a high pitched hissing sound, I guess. I used to drink lots of beer, and it wouldn't bother it at all. In fact, it seemed to calm it down, or at least I wasn't aware of it. Which was probably why I drank a lot of beer. But that's not really a good road to go down.
       
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    8. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I am not sure either one of these things makes tinnitus worse directly... but indirectly they might. If too much caffeine makes you jittery, makes your blood pressure spike etc this could make your tinnitus worse. The mind has a powerful influence over sounds you hear including tinnitus.

      Fear/anxiety will also influence your mind and tinnitus. If you are obsessed with your tinnitus and obsessed about possible triggers of your tinnitus, then drinking caffeine WILL probably make it worse. IF you think your tinnitus will get worse doing or eating something, then it will. Caffeine used to make my tinnitus spike something fierce when tinnitus was my focus and obsession. So did eating a burger, jogging around the block, watching a movie and flying my kite. Now days none of those things affects me or my tinnitus. I cope much better and rarely care about my tinnitus, I can drink coffee or tea and my tinnitus stays the same- no spikes. I suspect if you fear something you drink or eat will make your tinnitus worse--then most likely it will but not because of what you ate or drank but the reaction to what you ate or drank.

      I still have fluctuating tinnitus and on my low days like today, I can drink coffee, tea, play basketball, eat Panda Express (I know, I know very bad) and guess what? My tinnitus is still low. Now on my louder tinnitus days, I can do the same exact thing and my tinnitus stays the same, loud for that day. If I have a headache, I take some Ibuprofen and it doesn't affect my tinnitus either. I am not saying it is all smiles and roses every day. I still have my ups and downs and sometimes tinnitus bugs me. But I think about all that is good in my life and it keeps me grounded.

      After several months of trying out the patterns/triggers of my tinnitus with different combinations of foods, supplements, what to eat and what not to eat and when, should I exercise or not, should I go to the movies or not etc, I decided ENOUGH! and got back to living... I improved, my tinnitus improved, I didn't obsess about stuff so much and I feel much better. I still have low and high tinnitus days just like I did before when I did all those OCD things to figure out my tinnitus, but most of us are not going to be able to figure out our tinnitus. It's just not that easy. So spend that time doing things you want to do and get back to living. If you want that latte, then have one.

      Disclaimer: This is just my personal experience and opinions and may not reflect what you experience. Your results may vary :)

      P.S. Alcohol does seem to make my T louder and I don't drink much but if I am out with friends having a good time (and drinking a bit), it is well worth the temporary spike I may get whether it is actually the alcohol itself or some anxiety I have about drinking it.
       
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    9. Paul D
      Balanced

      Paul D Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/01/2010
      Although many say alcohol can be a contributing factor in exacerbating the condition, I quit drinking completely for maybe two years before the onset of chronic tinnitus, and don't drink still. The condition worsened. Now, caffeine does seem to affect me, but only occasionally. I'm a very heavy coffee drinker, moreso since I quit alcohol. The caffeine seems to aggravate the tinnitus only during periods when stress levels are rising. Stress+excess caffeine+disturbed sleep patterns+flare of a physical ailment almost always leads to a prolonged episode of high tinnitus levels stretching into days on end. Yet at other times the caffeine doesn't seem to play a part; the tinnitus seems to comes out of nowhere. Although nine out of ten times stress is a factor in there somewhere.
       
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    10. Lord of the Ring
      Cheeky

      Lord of the Ring Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      I don't drink (never have) and I don't do caffeine anymore (but I already did quit caffeine before my tinnitus).
      I don't believe food has any effect on the level of my tinnitus, although I do eat a lot more vegetables and fruits and stay away from any junk-food or candy. The result is loss of weight and no more high blood pressure, so that's a good thing caused by my reaction to my tinnitus. By the way: seems to me that the blood pressure does have no effect on my tinnitus.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    11. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Regarding alcohol:
      I find it interesting that some tinnitus suffers don't like drinking, because it seems to make their tinnitus worse. Not me.

      For myself, drinking - in moderation - gets my mind off thinking about my tinnitus. I think that for many of us the problem with tinnitus is we are too focused on it. I think that fits within the Jastreboff/Hazell theories, that it's a viscous cycle of our conscious brain.
       
    12. Goofy
      Goofy

      Goofy Member

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2013
      I don't drink alcohol but I am addicted to Dr. Pepper and haven’t had one for about three months now. I would love to drink one but have been waiting for tinnitus to stay down for more than a week before I try. Still trying to weed out what aggravates tinnitus and what doesn’t.
       
    13. Hudson
      Cowboy

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      In my experience, the only thing that has ever affected my tinnitus was exposure to loud sound without protection. I used to drink, smoke cigars, eat fast food, generally do what I please. On the flip side, medications such as Clonazepam that are sometimes reported to have an effect on tinnitus did not quiet mine down at all. What it did do was calm me down, which is worth the price of gold in the midst of month long panic attacks and sustained anxiety.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    14. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      I have to say caffine and alcohol have not had an effect on my tinnitus to the point where I've had to stop them. Actually, I don't think I've gone more than a week without coffee since getting tinnitus. Alcohol can definitely spike my tinnitus when I'm hammered but it's temporary and I expect it. On the flip side it'll sometimes settle it if I just have a couple drinks and relax.
       
    15. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      What does everyone else do for a pickmeup? I used to rely on coffee to get me through the day, and no have no idea what to do! SO SLEEPY IN THE OFFICE.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
    16. pef

      pef Member

      Location:
      Georgia, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      3/16/2013
      I couldn't give up coffee, no way!

      Anyone that has the strength to give up coffee has the strength to beat tinnitus!
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      So why coffee is a no for you? Does it spike you in a manner you feel uncomfortable with?

      Experts challenge the caffeine-tinnitus link: http://psychcentral.com/lib/experts-challenge-caffeine-tinnitus-link/0002752

      I presume you have tried coffee and its effects on you, instead of relying on 3rd party information. In that case, sorry for my mumblings.
       
      • Like Like x 2
    18. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      When I first got tinnitus a year ago I continued to drink coffee and only when I had multiple cups did it give me spikes for a couple hours. But ever since my horrible increase in November I don't want to risk what it will sound like with caffeine. Though I do still eat chocolate and have soda occasionally.
       
    19. frohike
      Approved

      frohike Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Something I read about coffee that surprised me: you are fully awake 20 minutes after waking up, with, or without caffeine. Coffee is useful to calm caffeine addiction, and to increase your alertness during mid morning, when cortisol levels are dropping (not that you need it if you had a sound sleep).
      Another good moment to drink coffee is whenever the hell you want :D specially if it is the kind of good coffee that tastes good without sugar.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    20. Neenie
      Depressed

      Neenie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2013
      I guess you have to weigh up the positives and negatives of having coffee. If it truly does give you a spike, then you know that it's only a spike and will calm down once the caffeine had been metabolised. So you can have that delicious coffee for all its benefits (taste, mood, energy) and just deal with the one loss (a spike that is not permanent). That's how I live. At the beginning I cut out dairy, gluten, caffeine, sugar, salt, spices, and then after a while I thought, this is not worth it. I'm barely living by cutting out so much, so I went back to eating all of the things I cut out and no change in tinnitus what so ever. I've read a few studies that have suggested that diet is unlrelated to tinnitus and also taking vitamins such as the B-group and Zinc/Magnesium/Melatonin/Gingko do not decrease your tinnitus symptoms
       
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    21. RCB

      RCB Member

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I quit caffeine two weeks ago. I must say that I have made that swarm of cicadas in my head really angry.
      I thought the opposite would happen. I quit the caffeine because of gastro issues. Every uninformed doctor I have talked to in the past has reflexively said to quit the caffeine and aspirin when I say I have tinnitus. I wish it was so easy.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. Amelia
      Daring

      Amelia Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2013
      As soon as my tinnitus started I quit caffeine and chocolate. No difference unfortunately :(
       
    23. seal

      seal Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      What about a cup of good tea? Black tea or green tea? Those are quite good for your stomach and also contain caffeine. You could also try tea with ginger that should even help with your gastro issues. I don't think that caffeine necessarily makes tinnitus worse. For some it does but many people are just fine.. So why quitting it completely if it doesn't make yours worse. Not everything applies for everybody with tinnitus, so in your case I don't see why you should quit caffeine for good?!
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    24. adam2525
      Balanced

      adam2525 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      RCB wrote
      You are correct. They are uninformed. That is ridiculous advice.

      There is no evidence that stopping caffeine will help tinnitus.
      However, stopping caffeine cold turkey may temporarily exacerbate tinnitus.
      I was advised that if I wanted to stop caffeine (I don't by the way) to slowly reduce it by a cup a week.

      With aspirin massive mega doses will cause temporary tinnitus in most people (tinnitus or no tinnitus). But tinnitus will return to base level once the drug has been discontinued. Just because someone has tinnitus it doesn't mean that an ototoxic drug will affect them.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    25. RCB

      RCB Member

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Thanks all for your comments and advice. I am off the caffeine so that is done. I am Mr. Camomile (sp) now!
      It's been two weeks. So I'll let you know if the cicada swarm calms down in a while.

      I read in high school biology that cicadas were supposed to go away for 17 years or something. I guess this crew must be from a different clan.

      Until I find a physical cause, I am in the camp that believe that our brains are trying to replace something. In my case it could be the hearing loss at 8 kHz. But I will continue to observe and see if any obvious correlations become apparent.

      Thanks again and good luck to all.
       
    26. katriina
      Frustrated

      katriina Member

      Location:
      finland
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      Does coffee affect your tinnitus? I have given up coffee and I really miss it, although I haven't tested if that even affects to my tinnitus...
       
    27. Markku
      Inspired

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Syringing
      Well, if you miss it, then start drinking again. If it continually causes a bad spike, then you know to reduce intake or quit completely.

      It doesn't affect everybody's tinnitus, not by a long shot. (Mine neither).

      http://psychcentral.com/lib/experts-challenge-caffeine-tinnitus-link/0002752
       
    28. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I gave up caffeine, cold turkey on November 6th--my first visit to the horrible ENT. I also gave up chewing nicotine gum cold turkey because nicotine is bad for your ears (I had never heard that before and blamed myself for months for giving myself tinnitus-- until I found it could've been anything and blaming was pointless and not helpful at all). I also gave up artificial sweeteners and alcohol. I drink decaf coffee and caffeine free tea. I use a level spoonful of sugar in these drinks as I never realized what poison aspartame is... I'd been using artificial sweeteners for 30 years--that too, could be a cause of my tinnitus, along with High Frequency hearing loss. Who really knows what the cause is? I was under enormous stress with my husband's illness and financial loss of our business--I think that's probably what caused my tinnitus but it really is unimportant now, I have T. That's how it is--knowing how I got it helps nothing.

      I actually feel better and sleep better without all the caffeine. I never realize how jumped up it kept me and caused me problems sleeping and fed my anxiety--I used to have about 5 cups of coffee a day--sometimes a latte too, with a shot of espresso (on weekends) --and a couple cups of tea.

      I have tried a few glasses of white wine and also some Guinness on weekends. The Guinness actually seems to quiet it a bit with no after affects The wine caused a spike the next day. The spike is not too bad though so if I want a glass of wine, I'll have one. That's a major change for me--I used to be too scared to annoy my tinnitus that I wouldn't think of having a drink! I guess we all learn as we go.

      I know six people at my workplace with tinnitus. They only notice it if they listen for it or you talk about it. My one friends eats McDonald's fries with salt and drinks red wine by the bottle. She has been habituated for 20 years. Another friend seems to have no issues either. Tinnitus is definitely different for everyone.
       
    29. bellecooper77
      Bookworm

      bellecooper77 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      Just thought this would be interesting to ask - my best friend and my dad both have tinnitus. My dad had to give up caffeinated coffee due to it causing his tinnitus to spike, and my best friend drinks 2 cups of it a day and says it doesn't affect her tinnitus at all.

      My dad worked around loud noises for a number of years and has damage in his left ear which causes his tinnitus and my best friend has it due to genetic reasons (both her mom and grandma have it).

      Maybe that's the reason why she can drink it and he can't - because of the reason that they got tinnitus?

      I used to drink a ton of coffee before my tinnitus appeared (I'm 18 and had to get through 7:30 AM math classes somehow!) and know that some websites say that caffeinated coffee is a big no-no for people with tinnitus. Decaf isn't the same, however, but it's an ok replacement.

      So, does coffee spike your tinnitus?
       
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    30. Ken219
      Frustrated

      Ken219 Member

      Location:
      New York Area
      Tinnitus Since:
      Summer of 1990
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure?
      @bellecooper77 I have no problem with a couple of cups of coffee. You have to figure out what works for you. If it spikes it is usually a very short spike.
       

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