Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can be found in many of the beverages at Fiction Coffee. You can also find caffeine in certain over-the-counter cold medications, allergy medications and pain relievers. It works by stimulating the central nervous system, improving circulation, focus and energy.
Studies have shown that drinking caffeine can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and cancer of the liver, mouth and throat. But can it affect your hearing health?
Does Caffeine Affect Hearing Loss?
Caffeine is known to restrict blood vessels, altering blood pressure. Healthy blood flow is key to healthy hearing, which caused researchers to ask whether caffeine intake is associated with hearing loss.
What researchers found in a large Korean observational study from 2018 is that people who drank coffee actually had lower rates of hearing loss compared to non-drinkers.
Caffeine Intake & Temporary Hearing Loss
One study provided an exception to this finding, however.
Temporary threshold shift (TTS) describes the muffled feeling in your ears after attending a noisy event. TTS means that the delicate hair cells within the inner ear that convert soundwaves into electrical energy for the brain to interpret are fatigued. Typically, it takes a couple days for them to recover.
A study published in 2016 found that daily consumption of caffeine can prolong recovery from TTS.
Caffeine Intake & Ototoxic Chemotherapy Drugs
The chemotherapy drug Cisplatin has a well-established link with hearing loss. According to a 2019 study, adding caffeine to the mix can increase the risk of developing hearing loss for those taking this drug.
Does Caffeine Affect Tinnitus?
There is some anecdotal evidence that cutting caffeine out of your diet can improve tinnitus symptoms; however, this is not backed by research. In fact, one study from 2014 found that women who heavily consumed coffee had lower rates of tinnitus. Another study from 2009 found that withdrawal from caffeine can actually worsen tinnitus. Our advice is to do what works for you: cut out caffeine if it eases symptoms or continue to drink it if it has no impact.
For more information about how caffeine intake can affect your hearing health or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Total Hearing Care of Dallas.