Haven’t we all heard we should reduce our caffeine intake? Well good news coffee drinkers. You don’t have to switch to decaf just yet. A new study is out linking a reduced risk of tinnitus and drinking coffee. Ears ringing? Starbucks is you answer.

For once, this study doesn’t have the caveat of moderation. Unless you consider drinking 5 cups of coffee daily moderate. In which case, you probably have other issues. A new study in the American Journal of Medicine tracked 65,000 women over the course of 18 years, Those who drank more coffee had a reduced risk of developing tinnitus.

As to the why, researchers are still unclear on how caffeine helps. Researcher Dr. David Curham released a statement on the findings. “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.” He also adds: “Researchers note that further evidence is needed to make any recommendations about whether the addition of caffeine would improve tinnitus symptoms.”

Oh, and like all good things, this could have some serious drawbacks. The Mayo Clinic has guidelines for people that drink more than five cups of coffee a day. It can cause muscle tremors, irritability, nervousness and insomnia. I’m not sure reducing risk of ear ringing is worth having people become raging jackasses.

Around 10 percent of Americans are affected by tinnitus each year. If you’ve never had it, think a ringing in your ear with no known origin.

Study co-author, Laura Juliano, talked about the risk of caffeine. “The negative effects of caffeine are often not recognized as such because it is a socially acceptable and widely consumed drug that is well integrated into our customs and routines. And while many people can consume caffeine without harm, for some, it produces negative effects, physical dependence, interferes with daily functioning, and can be difficult to give up, which are signs of problematic use.”

Like everything that is studied, the possible treatment has serious drawbacks. Consult with your doctor before you take over your local Starbucks to ease the ear ringing.


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