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August 2014

Drinking Coffee Might Prevent Ringing in the Ears

Consuming more caffeine might decrease the risk of developing tinnitus.

Tinnitus is a medical term for ringing in the ears, a common condition that affects millions of people. For some, symptoms may occur intermittently and they may only be mildly annoying. Others may have more serious symptoms that are persistent and cause people to seek medical help. Tinnitus can affect anyone, but it is most common among elderly people. However, it is becoming increasingly common among young people who are frequently exposed to loud noises, such as music.

In a recent study researchers analyzed data on 65,085 women 30-44 years-old from the Nurse’s Health Study II to assess the potential effects of caffeine intake on the risk for tinnitus. None of the women had tinnitus at the beginning of the study. Data on food intake and medical history were collected throughout the study.

Throughout the 18 year follow-up period, 5,289 cases of tinnitus were reported. The researchers found that women who consumed between 450 to 599 milligrams of caffeine daily had a 15% reduced risk of developing tinnitus when compared to women who consumed less than 150 milligrams, about the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee. Furthermore, women who consumed over 600 milligrams of caffeine daily had a 21% reduced risk of tinnitus.

The authors concluded that high caffeine intake is linked to a reduced risk for developing tinnitus. Additional research is warranted to further evaluate these findings.

For information about caffeine, please visit Natural Standard’s Food, Herbs & Supplements Database.


  1. Glicksman JT, Curhan SG, Curhan GC, et al. A prospective study of caffeine intake and risk of incident tinnitus. Am J Med. 2014 Aug;127(8):739-43.
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. 

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