According to new research, women with a higher intake of caffeine had a lower incidence of unexplained ear ringing.
Higher caffeine intake is associated with lower rates of tinnitus in younger and middle-aged women, it added.
The study followed more than 65,000 women. Researchers tracked self-reported results regarding lifestyle and medical history from these women, aged 30 to 44 years and without tinnitus in 1991.
After 18 years of follow up, researchers identified 5,289 cases of reported incident tinnitus.
"We observed a significant inverse association between caffeine intake and the incidence of tinnitus among these women," said Gary Curhan, a physician-researcher at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts.
Significantly, researchers found that when compared with women with caffeine intake less than 150 milligrams/day (one and a half 8-ounce cups of coffee), the incidence of reported tinnitus was 15 percent lower among those women who consumed 450 to 599 mg/day of caffeine.
"We know that caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and previous research has demonstrated that caffeine has a direct effect on the inner ear in both bench science and animal studies," Curhan noted.
Researchers note that further evidence is needed to make any recommendations about whether the addition of caffeine would improve tinnitus symptoms.
The research appeared in the journal American Journal of Medicine.
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