Giving up caffeine doesn't ease tinnitus, a new study from Centre for Hearing and Balance Studies at Bristol University has shown. In the contrary, it only adds to the problem.
In the study, sixty-six volunteers who experienced tinnitus and who usually consumed at least 150 mg a day of caffeine took part in a 30-day trial.
Their usual caffeinated tea and coffee was replaced with double-blinded supplies, under one of two conditions: usual caffeine consumption followed by phased withdrawal; or phased withdrawal followed by reintroduction then usual caffeine consumption.
"With almost 85 per cent of adults in the world consuming caffeine daily, we wanted to challenge the claim that caffeine makes tinnitus worse," said Dr Lindsay St. Claire, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Hearing and Balance Studies at the University of Bristol, and the lead researcher on the study.
"Many professionals support caffeine withdrawal as a tinnitus therapy, even though there is a lack of any relevant evidence, and, in fact, acute symptoms of caffeine withdrawal might even make tinnitus worse," she added.
The study is published online in the International Journal of Audiology.