There is a chance that an increased intake of caffeine lowers the rate of tinnitus – at least for women. A study found that women who drank more coffee had lower rates of tinnitus.
The study was carried out by Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and published in the American Journal of Medicine. The study followed 65,000 women aged 30-44 since 1991. At that point, none of the women had ever experienced signs of tinnitus. In 2009, 5,289 of the women in the study reported symptoms of tinnitus.
In the 18-year-long study period, the women self-reported their lifestyle and medical history. The researchers reported an association between the women’s caffeine intake – which was mainly coffee – and their incidents of tinnitus.
Still no explanation
Compared to women who consumed less than 150 milligrams of caffeine per day (one and a half cup of coffee), women who consumed 450-599 milligrams of caffeine per day reported 15% less incidents of tinnitus. This amount equals 4-6 cups of coffee.
The study has not found evidence to explain the results, but previous research shows that caffeine stimulates the nervous system and has a direct effect on the inner ear.
Gary Curhan, senior author of the paper and physician-researcher in the Channing Division of Network Medicine at BWH, stresses that more research needs to be done in order to make any recommendations.