Can Caffeine Provide Tinnitus Relief?

New York Times Best-Selling Author Dave Berry once quipped, “It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.”  And researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston find there may be sound reasons to heed his advice for increasing coffee consumption.

Their findings show that tinnitus, that awful persistent ringing, chirping or hissing in the ears, may be alleviated by caffeine, a stimulant often found in coffee.  The rate of tinnitus was 15 percent lower among women who consumed between four and six cups of coffee compared with those who consumed a cup and a half each day.  The study followed over 65,000 women over 18 years and asked them to self-report their lifestyle, caffeine consumption and medical history.

Although researchers have not found sufficient evidence to explain the results, previous research may indicate that caffeine’s stimulant effects on the nervous system also benefits the inner ear.  Approximately one in five people suffer from tinnitus, which may stem from an underlying condition, such as an ear injury or hearing loss.

Thinking about switching from short to venti size triple shot espresso?  Not so fast say the study’s authors.  Much more work is needed to conclude increased caffeine intake improves tinnitus symptoms.


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