Foods to Watch Out For

By: Dr. Keith Darrow, PhD, CCC-A

Let’s talk about something that might not be on your radar but could be buzzing around your ears: tinnitus triggers. Yep, those pesky sounds that nobody else can hear but can drive you up the wall. And guess what? What you eat could be playing a part in this auditory annoyance.

My published cookbook, Healthy Food Healthy Brain, is your definitive guide to doing more to ensure you stay mentally, physically and cognitively healthy by eating the right foods and making sure you feed your brain the very best, every day, every meal. This includes eating the right foods to avoid triggering that nasty tinnitus!

For a complimentary copy of my book, tap this link and get started!

What you put on your plate can influence the volume knob on your tinnitus. Crazy, right? But it’s true! Certain foods and drinks have been known to crank up the noise in your ears. Let’s dive into the culinary culprits:

1. Salt:

Sure, salt adds flavor to your meals, but it can also spike your blood pressure and send your ears ringing. High sodium levels can mess with the fluid balance in your inner ear, leading to tinnitus flare-ups. So, maybe ease up on that salt shaker.

2. Caffeine:

Sorry, coffee lovers, but that morning cup of joe might be contributing to your tinnitus symphony. Caffeine is a stimulant that can rev up your nervous system, including the nerves in your ears. So, if you notice your tinnitus acting up, consider cutting back on the caffeine.

3. Sugar:

Who doesn’t love a sweet treat now and then? Well, your ears might not be too thrilled about it. Sugary foods can cause inflammation and mess with your blood sugar levels, which can aggravate tinnitus. Maybe save that dessert for special occasions.

4. Alcohol:

Raise a glass, but not too many if you’re dealing with tinnitus. Alcohol can dilate your blood vessels and increase blood flow, including to your ears. This extra blood flow can amp up the ringing in your ears. So, moderation is key here.

5. Fatty Foods:

Pass the fries? Maybe not if you want to keep your tinnitus in check. Fatty foods can mess with your circulation and potentially worsen tinnitus symptoms. Opt for healthier fats like those found in avocados and nuts instead.

6. Processed Foods:

Those convenient packaged meals might be easy on your schedule, but they’re not doing your tinnitus any favors. Processed foods are often loaded with salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats, which can all contribute to tinnitus flare-ups. Time to break up with the drive-thru.

7. Artificial Sweeteners:

Trying to cut calories? Be wary of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin. While they might seem like a sweet deal, they can trigger tinnitus in some people. Stick to natural sweeteners like stevia or honey instead.

Now, before you swear off all your favorite foods, remember that everyone’s tinnitus triggers can be different. What sets off a symphony in one person’s ears might not bother someone else at all. It’s all about tuning in to your body and finding what works for you.

If you suspect that certain foods are aggravating your tinnitus, try keeping a food diary to track your symptoms. This can help you pinpoint which foods might be worth avoiding or limiting.

And hey, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by the noise in your ears, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare professional. They can help you develop a plan to manage your tinnitus and get back to enjoying the sounds of life without all the extra buzz.

Below is a healthy lunch recipe from my cookbook. Please feel free to let me know if you enjoy it!

Tuna Edamame Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette

Feel free to use salmon instead of tuna because fatty fish like these contain healthy fats that feed the brain. The natural oils of these fish are full of Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which are essential for brain health. Eating salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish has been shown to stimulate brain cell growth.

Iron deficiency can affect memory, attention span, and learning ability. A diet high in products like edamame, tofu, and soy-based protein can help support brain cells, improve memory, increase cognitive function, and help with learning.


  • 1 can light tuna–drained and flaked
  • ¼ cup ready-to-eat edamame soybeans
  • ½ of red bell pepper–diced
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes–cut in half

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of himalayan pink sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard.
  2. Season with Himalayan pink sea salt and pepper to taste - set aside.
  3. In a medium size bowl, toss together the tuna, edamame, pepper, carrots and tomatoes.
  4. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.


  • 275 calories
  • 34 grams protein
  • 18 grams carbohydrates
  • 4 grams fat

As I bring you essential information each month about the connection between eating healthy and long term overall active aging, it is important to keep in mind that the number one way to potentially prevent dementia and cognitive decline is to FIRST TREAT YOUR HEARING LOSS!

Please remember this month and every month to treat your hearing loss and tinnitus and feed your brain for optimal performance.

And, again, don’t forget your complimentary free copy of my book!

To learn more about aging gracefully, treating hearing loss, and maintaining a healthy brain, please visit –

The World's Award-Winning Hearing & Tinnitus Treatment Specialists
Dr Darrow is a wealth of knowledge in his field. He is patient, considerate and kind. Takes as much time with the patient as is needed. I have recommended him to several of my friends. — Cheryl W.
The reviews listed are from actual patients of Excellence in Audiology. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.
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