Here’s some fantastic news for the 18 to 20 percent of Aussies who suffer from tinnitus: new research indicates that drinking coffee may prevent this condition.
Tinnitus, if you’ve never experienced it, is the perception of sound in the ear when no external sound is present. It can be anything from a dull ringing to an ongoing high-pitched sound (kind of like a sensitive microphone that’s screeching all day, every day).
Caffeine has been thought to play an important role in the development of tinnitus, so researchers set out to prove this. But what they found was the complete opposite – caffeine intake may actually lower the risk of developing tinnitus.
This new piece of research comes from Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston, where more than 65,000 women aged 30 to 44 participated in a study over an 18-year period.
The women in this study consumed around 242.3 milligrams of caffeine each day. Researchers found there was a “significant inverse association between caffeine intake and the incidence of tinnitus”.
In fact, those who had 450 to 599 milligrams of caffeine a day were 15 per cent less likely to have tinnitus, and those who consumed 600 milligrams or more were 21 per cent less likely. To put this into perspective, a regular cup of coffee has about 150 milligrams of caffeine. So the more coffee you drink, the less chance you have of developing tinnitus.
The lead author, Dr. Jordan T. Glicksman says the findings aren’t proof caffeine’s a cure, but nor should you quit the habit.
We can’t conclude that caffeine is a cure for tinnitus. But our results should provide some assurance to people who do drink caffeine that it’s reasonable to continue doing so.
So coffee (and energy drinks) might not improve the condition, but for those not suffering from tinnitus, now’s a good time to drink to your health!