Does caffeine make tinnitus worse?

Hello everyone and welcome back. In my previous post, titled diet and tinnitus, I chatted about caffeine and its effect on tinnitus. I simply said that there is no conclusive proof that caffeine is either good or bad if you are suffering from tinnitus. Today I will revisit this topic and discuss some interesting findings .Enjoy this read.

What is caffeine? 

Does caffeine make tinnitus worse? I think before we answer this question, let us first talk about what caffeine really is.

It is a Central Nervous System(CNS), stimulant and its belongs to a class of psychoactive drugs. A psychoactive drug is a chemical substance that has the ability of changing brain function and thereby alter the mood, consciousness or perception of the individual.Various drugs fall within this category and are available by prescription only.Examples of these are included below.does caffeine cause tinnitus

  • Morphine –  used for pain. Analgesics
  • Sodium Valproate-used for epilepsy. Anticonvulsant
  • Carbidopa/levodopa- used for Parkinson’s Disease. Antiparksonian drug

It is common for drugs within this class to uplift ones mood(making them feel euphoric) or even leaving them mentally charged or alert. A need may develop for the person to continue on these medications to experience these effects continously ultimately bringing about an addiction. Furthermore, the more one takes a drug, a concept such as tolerance develops. This is whereby the person has to increase the dosage of the medication to experience the same effects. Lastly, stopping this medication brings about withdrawal symptoms, as the body craves for more of the medication that it is deprived of.

Caffeine is a very widely consumed drug and is legal almost all over the world. It is present in tea, coffee, chocolate and alcohol. It is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as being safe. Generally a cup of coffee has about 50-175mg of caffeine and about 50-100 cups of coffee a day would be classified as a lethal dose.


Coffee and Tinnitus

Okay , I have heard all too often that it is wise to stay away from coffee. ” it has stimulatory properties and you should stay away from it,” or “anything that contains caffeine is bad for tinnitus,” or ” caffeine causes tinnitus.” Is this really true?can caffeine cause tinnitus

I mentioned before that I am an occasional whiskey drinker. Sorry….guilty as charged(sometimes life is really stressful ….gotta chill now and again!!!).  We meet up almost every Friday evening for supper with my folks, and my dad and I will have our two glasses of whiskey each. Anyways, it seems strange but I actually find a difference in the intensity of my tinnitus. It  lessens down and I actually feel my hearing is better. My wife even tells me that she finds herself repeating herself less during these times

SO what about coffee?

My researched showed two studies regarding the correlation between caffeine intake and tinnitus. The first trial where people were consuming 3-4cups of coffee a day, and another group of people within this trial were consuming more than 4cups of coffee a day. The duration of this trial lasted 30days.can caffeine cause tinnitus

The Results

The first set showed a 15% less likely chance of developing tinnitus whilst the second set of people showed a 20%reduction in developing the tinnitus.

In this study, no effect was seen with decaffeinated coffee.

A similar result was seen in the second trial over a period of 30days whereby, people were taking either caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee on alternate days. This study showed that caffeine had on effect on making the tinnitus severe.

Note, patients did suffer though from the withdrawal symptoms from stopping the coffee. They also found no evidence that if you cut caffeine it will make the tinnitus better.

My take

I think we could be onto something here. If we are able to discover chemicals that can affected or lessen tinnitus, we might be able to manufacture a medication to treating our tinnitus.

Final Word

I have decided to undertake a challenge.Today the 23September, I would do my own mini-trial and share with you my results after a month. I will make a commitment to drink coffee everyday and tally my results on the 23October and publish it here to see the effects of caffeine on tinnitus. You are more than welcome to join me and share the results with us. If you have taken coffee and it has helped you share with us your story and thanks once again for reading our article. Does caffeine make tinnitus worse? Lets find out.




  1. Sean

    Hi Roopesh,

    I must say that I’m a coffee lover, but I don’t go overboard with it – one cup first thing in the morning is all I need.

    I have also had tinnitus from time to time, but it hasn’t ever really got to the point where it’s extremely noticeable, and I can’t say I’ve noticed how this has effected the ringing in my ears.

    Maybe now I’ll pay more attention though 🙂

    All the best with your coffee challenge, I hope you get some conclusive personal evidence as to whether or not caffeine effects your tinnitus.

    Who knows, maybe in the not-too-distant future coffee lovers all over the world will be justifying their coffee intake by saying that it alleviates tinnitus 🙂

    Take care,

    • Hi Sean.
      Thanks for your input.
      I am glad to hear of the impact that coffee has made on your tinnitus.I guess this is another reason for me to keep to my challenge so that I can shed some more light on the subject.

      Just hoping that the news will be good for the coffee lovers out there.
      Stay Tuned.

  2. Roopesh,

    Great post. It seems the results are mixed as far as the coffee goes. There need to be a ton of clinical trials before conclusions are drawn.
    Green tea has caffeine, too. That might be a direction to go in for us non-coffee drinkers.

    Good luck with your challenge!

    • Hi Nancy
      Yes, this topic on caffeine and tinnitus is still wide open for discussion. Let’s see what my ‘experiment,’ will show up later on.
      I have also looked at the teas, and am glad that you mentioned this option for the non-coffee drinkers.
      Perhaps, we don’t have to limit our study around just ‘coffee’ Are there any takers for trying out the tea, for this challenge?

      I would love to hear from you.
      Thank You

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