Scientists aren’t sure why this is happening, but people with tinnitus-when they hear constant ringing or buzzing in their ears-are finding their condition improves when they drink lots of coffee.
Sufferers who drink four to five cups of coffee a day have been reporting an improvement in their symptoms compared to when they drink just one or two cups.
Researchers are puzzled by the findings. They know that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and other studies have shown that caffeine has a direct impact on the workings of the inner ear, and so perhaps the answer lies somewhere in those clues, say the team from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
They drew their analysis from the reports of 65,000 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, and the 5,289 cases of tinnitus among them.
Drinking more coffee seemed to produce a 15 per cent improvement in symptoms overall, they said. The age of the sufferer didn’t have any bearing on the results.
(Source: American Journal of Medicine, 2014; 127: 739-43)