It’s been a popular belief in the past that caffeine can actually have a negative impact on those suffering from tinnitus, and cutting back on caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee was the solution to helping with the condition. But there’s been a distinct lack of scientific evidence to support this. Numerous medical studies have concluded that reducing caffeine intake has had little to no effect on tinnitus, with some sufferers actually reporting that their condition worsened.
This prompted new controversial research from Canada which has been published in the American Journal of Medicine. The results indicate that an increased caffeine intake may actually have protective qualities against tinnitus. The study, which involved 70,000 Canadian women, found that those who regularly drank three to four cups of coffee a day were 15% less likely to develop tinnitus. Researches were astounded by the results. It’s been suggested that caffeine may have had a positive effect on the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, which could explain the results of the study.
Doctors have warned that further research is needed before they can recommend increased caffeine intake as a preventative measure for tinnitus. As the study was only conducted on women; further research inclusive of men is needed to see if caffeine has the same positive effect for both genders. However, the findings of the initial research is very welcome news for those suffering from the condition.
Tinnitus can be caused by numerous factors, such as exposure to loud music or an ear infection which leads to nerve damage in the inner ear. Sufferers experience a persistent ringing sound in their ears. Short-term tinnitus is common from exposure to loud music – but it can be a life-long problem for some. Long-term tinnitus has become a growing problem, especially in younger people, due to overexposure to increasing noise pollution. Currently, there’s no cure for long-term sufferers – and the condition can be highly distressing for those affected.
According to the NHS, in the UK around 6 million people (10% of the population) suffer from a mild form of the condition, with 1% suffering from tinnitus to an extent where it negatively affects their quality of life. Tinnitus is most common in people aged 65 and over, however can affect people of any age including children.
If you’re hard of hearing, perhaps a fresh cup of coffee could be the solution to your problems? Coffee is a fantastic natural source of caffeine and contains numerous beneficial anti-oxidants. For more information on coffee’s array of awesome advantages, read our article on 7 health benefits of drinking coffee.