Caffeine Spikes Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Mike34, Jul 28, 2015.

    1. Mike34

      Mike34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Had a cup of coffee the other day and unbeknownst to me, it was made with espresso (150 mg caffeine). I felt awful afterwards. Really shaky and disoriented.

      Now my "static" tinnitus is in a huge spike. I almost feel like I did when tinnitus first came on, always thinking about it. I was habituated before this.

      Anyone else experience this?
       
    2. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      150 mg of caffeine really isn't that much, Less than 2 cups.

      Are you a regular drinker? If not that might be the case. I find no foods/beverages do anything in regards to tinnitus.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mike34

      Mike34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      I quit most caffeine when I came down with tinnitus, hyperacusis, and other pain issues. I usually have a small cup of coffee in the morning (<60 mg) and am fine. This cup really knocked me on my ass. I have been diagnosed with central nervous system sensitization so it could have contributed too...
       
    4. Nucleo

      Nucleo Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2011
      Never heard of such a diagnosis before.
       
    5. Mad maggot
      Breezy

      Mad maggot Member

      Location:
      New zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Sometimes I feel sure coffee is making my tinnitus worse and other times it doesn't seem to affect me so I can't make up my mind if coffee does or not!
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Mike34

      Mike34 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Google it, there are many articles and studies on it. It's not so much a "diagnosis" in itself, but a way to explain the pain and problems I'm having. The ultimate cause is unknown, but many different doctors have said I have CNS sensitization (cause of my pain as well as tinnitus).
       
    7. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I drink probably 2-3 cups a day. Used to affect my tinnitus (with spikes) for the first year but now not at all.
       
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    8. erik
      Cool

      erik Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Yup. If they can give a name to some condition whether there is a treatment or cure or whether they even know what causes it, that's enough for most people. Everything explainable or not seems to need a label.
       
    9. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      It's one of those things that's hard to pin down; some people's nervous systems just react more strongly to stimuli than others. I don't have this diagnosis, but I had all the symptoms in spades following benzodiazepine discontinuation. It's not a smoke-and-mirrors thing, though, some imaging studies etc have been done.

      Central sensitization: Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pain
      I'm generally disinclined to appreciate labels in general, but when they can be tied to anatomical reality, then they have utility. Compared to something like BPD, CS is real, in that you can apparently reliably show differences in nerve function using diagnostic tests. However, I do think it's a bit of an umbrella label because it seems to encompass people who have the same reason for organic reasons (genetics, premature birth, etc) along with people who develop the same symptoms following shock or trauma.

      There is a correlate between this and the physiological reactions to various drugs. Most drugs build a tolerance, where repeat doses generate a smaller and smaller effect. However, some drugs in some individuals build a reverse tolerance, where subsequent exposure causes an increased response. Amphetamines are known to behave this way, at least in some individuals.
      If I don't consume caffeine for a period of time and then jump back in at my usual dose, I react exactly as you describe -- I can become almost manic for a few hours, and then feel very shaky, anxious and dysphoric.
       
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    10. Richard zurowski

      Richard zurowski Member Benefactor

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      27/12/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection.
      Caffeine is a no go if you suffer with tinnitus. If you like coffee try de caffeinated coffee.
       
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    11. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      Today I am quitting any and all food/drink which contains caffeine for good.

      The reason being, that I am, as I write this, suffering a 100 dB spike in my left ear, after having drank 2 cups of (caffeinated) tea last night, while I was studying at my desk.

      This has been a gradual development, and very much the opposite of @erik's experience, shared below.
      After I first developed tinnitus, tea/coffee (any caffeinated drinks) would make me jittery and hyper (although I hadn't pinned down caffeine as the cause). Chocolate on the other hand had no discernible effect.

      Fast forward a couple of years, I noticed chocolate beginning to make me as hyper as the tea/coffee, and if I had them together I'd earn myself a return ticket to Jupiter for any amount of time, up to 12 hours.

      Fast forward to this year, and I began to notice my favourite (caffeinated) white and green teas were giving me temporary spikes that lasted up to 48 hours. What has been most alarming is the fact that the spikes appear to be becoming more severe over time. Now of course, just like with the hyperactivity and agitation, chocolate is also spiking me; and so it has all come full circle.

      Some of you may remember me demonstrating a very cavalier attitude toward these "caffeine spikes" in my previous posts. But today I've reached a point where I can no longer disregard them so flippantly, because they're honestly beginning to scare me. Every time I get one now, I find myself living in fear of the possibility that it might not go back down. And so I have done the unthinkable, and chucked away the 11 remaining teabags from my packet of silver-tips white tea.

      No choice in the matter it seems; so here's to a healthier life in 2022! :beeranimation:
       
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    12. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I think you do the right thing by avoiding caffeinated foods, @Damocles.
      Dang! A 100 dB spike. That isn't "tinnitus", that's "TINNITUS!!!!". Hope it goes back completely.

      Wish you well,
      Stacken
       
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    13. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      I mean, my tinnitus is hyper reactive, batshit crazy, but two cups of coffee a day doesn't move the volume one bit. I think it's highly individual how the brain/tinnitus responds to caffeine.

      Stacken
       
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    14. Exit

      Exit Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      I remember being in London 2009, had a cozy Starbucks visit and then we left out the door to do some shopping. I ended up buying new pants and underwear...

      :beeranimation:
       
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    15. Wrfortiscue
      Probing

      Wrfortiscue Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Trauma
      Same. I'm addicted to it.
       
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    16. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Caffeine spikes my tinnitus but sugar spikes it more. We are all different so trial and error is needed to confirm for each of us. And it can change as stated here.

      George
       
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    17. Stacken77
      Wishful

      Stacken77 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Sweden
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise (likely headphones & cars), Acoustic trauma did me in
      One thing I realized just now is that a cup of coffee doesn't make me more alert, at all. I just drink it because I think it tastes good with a snack. Maybe caffeine just isn't very potent to my nervous system, hence not impacting my tinnitus? Maybe the tinnitus would spike if I were to down 5 cups in one sitting and get jittery hands? I wouldn't want to try it though lol. :p

      Just my speculation.
       
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    18. GeorgeLG
      Wishful

      GeorgeLG Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Leaf blower after yrs of rock guitar, constr & comp shooting
      Since there is more than one cause for tinnitus there is more than one set of irritants and things that might help. If you have an overactive system contributing to or causing tinnitus, stimulants may not be best.

      George
       
    19. Shelbylynn
      Cowabunga

      Shelbylynn Member

      Location:
      Fresno, California
      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Concert/lifelong music abuse
      I took a week off of caffeine more so because of my tachycardia incident than because of tinnitus but it didn't really help my tinnitus. Also didn't seem to make a difference on my insomnia. I think it helped my anxiety just a bit though. I had a Matcha tea latte earlier and now I'm just talking a lot. So it does make me more annoying if anything.
       
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    20. BigNick

      BigNick Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Coffee seems to help my tinnitus at times. For some people it can cause anxiety and that could alter your perception of tinnitus temporarily.
       
    21. Quiet please
      Balanced

      Quiet please Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Westchester County, NY
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2008
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cochlear Endolymphatic Hydrops/Hearing loss
      My coffee limit is 2 cups a day. If I attempt more; it spikes. Regular tea (herbal is fine) gives me a huge spike within 15 minutes which can last over 24 hours.
       
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    22. Forever hopeful
      Depressed

      Forever hopeful Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015 resolved, 4/20 L ear, increase 2/21
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2015,noise,2020-21 SNHL
      So sorry to hear this is happening. Tinnitus takes so much away from us and then it takes away the little things that you enjoy like a cup of tea while you’re studying. It’s just heartbreaking. I really hope your spike goes down soon. I get spikes where my tinnitus is like screaming and I can’t concentrate on anything.

      I believe you had written somewhere that you’re from the UK. I can’t tell you how much I love English breakfast tea. I have been crushed that tinnitus has forced me to drink decaf, although I am not sure caffeine always sizes my spikes. Mine have no rhyme or reason. Anyway, I feel like the decaf doesn’t taste as good as the caffeinated. I don’t know if it’s all in my head but it just doesn’t taste as good. I do long for the days when I travel to England and indulged in afternoon tea by the buckets.

      Hang on there.
       
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    23. Damocles
      No Mood

      Damocles Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      England
      Tinnitus Since:
      2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear Infection
      It did thank you mate.
      Don't mean to bring static @BigNick, but that's not it, and I think anxiety as a cause of everything/anything on this site is given far too much credence. Like some sort of reverse panacea we can scapegoat, in order to gaslight ourselves; it reinforces the idea of tinnitus as a psychosomatic disorder, which it most certainly isn't.

      In any case, I can assure you, caffeine physically heightens the volume of my tinnitus, tenfold, which I believe, as others here have already suggested, must be to do with caffeine's effect on the nervous system and subsequently, the auditory nervous system.

      Where you're correct however, is that there is undoubtedly a correlation between those who suffer anxiety after drinking caffeine, and those who do not's, probability of suffering a tinnitus spike after consuming it; which hints at the former's CNS going crazy when introduced to the stimulant, and also having trouble processing it (which probably determines the length of the spike also).
      I am indeed.
      It's lovely, especially with cake or a scone (although I still prefer white and green, with anything).
      It's not. It doesn't. Decaf (version of any tea) is horrible.
      I'm sure it will happen again.
       
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    24. Fleegle
      Curious

      Fleegle Member

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have been without caffeine for two weeks. I guess I have somatic tinnitus.

      My experience is that my tinnitus has not been reduced because caffeine has been absent, and today I have had much caffeine and my tinnitus persists (not a spike - just persists) - I don't get spikes and my tinnitus is continuously high.

      Previously I also removed dairy and caffeine while on remote location (because there is an opportunity to do so) and there was also no change to my tinnitus.

      Again my experience (YMMV).
       
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