Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be annoying and may interfere with your ability to concentrate and sleep. If you suffer from tinnitus, you have probably been searching for a way to stop this irritating condition. Caffeine has been a source of debate about whether or not it affects tinnitus. Some have suspected that it may aggravate the problem. Researchers have found that caffeine may actually lower the risk of tinnitus.

According to research published in the American Journal of Medicine, women who drank four to five cups of coffee each day had reduced rates of tinnitus. One research team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital tested the caffeine link to tinnitus. The study included more than 65,000 women between the ages of thirty and forty-four. At the start of the study, none of the women had experienced any tinnitus. After tracking them for 18 years, a significant relationship between caffeine consumption and lower occurrences of tinnitus was found.

For the study, the participants filled out questionnaires about medical history and food frequency. Results point to the possibility that consuming greater amounts of caffeine could decrease tinnitus. The women, who consumed four to five cups of coffee per day, developed tinnitus 15 percent less often than other study participants did. Interestingly the study participants, drinking less than two eight-ounce servings of coffee per day, experienced higher rates of tinnitus than the group who consumed the higher quantities.

Other studies on caffeine have shown that caffeine has a direct effect on the inner ear in research done on animals. At this point, there isn’t enough information to indicate whether increasing caffeine intake can improve tinnitus in those who are already suffering from it, leaving questions for future research.

Anyone can get tinnitus, but some people have a higher rate of developing this condition, like adults over the age of 65, individuals with age-related hearing loss and people who have had extended exposure to loud noises. Tinnitus is not normally a serious problem, but may be a symptom of another underlying issue. It can be a symptom of hearing loss, injury, and foreign matter in the ear or another medical condition.

For advice about treating tinnitus, talk to your hearing specialist. Since one of the usual causes of tinnitus is hearing loss, one should have a hearing evaluation. If you suffer from ringing or buzzing in your ears come see Sandia Hearing Center for a hearing test. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can help you seek the appropriate treatment. Call us at 719-634-6260.