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Can caffeine make tinnitus worse? The answer might surprise you

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What is the evidence?

While I am researching tinnitus resources on the internet, one piece of advice seems to be almost universal - avoiding caffeine can help relieve tinnitus symptoms - sometimes it is expressed the other way round, i.e. caffeine can make tinnitus worse. However, what evidence is there to back up this advice? Indeed, do these people have any evidence to support what they're saying?

Truth is stranger than fiction

The truth may come as a surprise to you, but don't just take my word for it. I always try to be careful that any advice I give, or any treatment that I recommend, has good evidence to back it up. If the evidence isn't strong, or if I am giving my own opinion based on experience treating tinnitus patients, I will say so. However, the evidence on whether caffeine make tinnitus worse or not is now clear, thanks to Dr Lindsay St. Claire of the University of Bristol's Centre for Hearing and Balance Studies. That's why I tell people that they can carry on drinking tea and coffee, even though they have tinnitus. In fact, it looks like caffeine withdrawal is far worse for tinnitus than drinking moderate amounts of tea and coffee! You can read about a Dr St. Claire's research study here.

Don't trust any Tom, Dick or Harry with your ears

My advice to you is to be careful who you trust with your ears. If they are offering outdated advice, or if they are recommending treatments that don't yet have good, University-led research evidence, then go somewhere else!

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Jason Levy RHAD CTP HPD MNCH (Reg) is an Audiologist, Certified Tinnitus Practitioner, HCPC Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser and CNHC Registered Hypnotherapist. Following a partial loss of hearing since childhood and acquiring tinnitus as an adult, he has been actively involved in treating hearing loss and tinnitus since 2003, and now writes about tinnitus and its treatment. Combining evidence-based Conventional and Complimentary Healthcare techniques, he aims to bring to you a new perspective on tinnitus treatment. In addition to treating tinnitus, Jason is trained in the latest and most up to date digital hearing aids, as well as advanced deep impression techniques for invisible hearing aids such as the Starkey Soundlens.

He practices on Harley Street, and is happy to answer enquiries from prospective clients. Please call 020 3397 9787 to book an appointment.

You can find Jason on Google+Twitter and LinkedInLinkedIn.

London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic Jason Levy HCPC Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic Jason Levy Full Member of the British Society of Audiology
London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic Jason Levy Full Member of the British Academy of Audiology
London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic CNHC Registered Hypnotherapist
London Tinnitus Treatment Clinic Jason Levy Member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy

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