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Food Sensitivities and Ringing in Ears

By Diane Marks ; Updated August 14, 2017

Food sensitivities can cause ringing in the ears from excessive fluid or pressure placed on your eardrum. During most bouts with food sensitivities or food allergies, your sinus cavity swells, placing pressure on the surrounding areas of the head, including your ears. The pressure buildup in the head places pressure on the inner ear, which can cause ringing in your ears. If you notice that every time you eat certain foods, you hear a ringing in your ears, stop eating those foods until you consult your doctor.

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities are another name for food allergies, which are caused by a hypersensitive reaction in your immune system to the proteins found in the food. When your immune system mistakes certain food proteins as an invading substance in the body, it reacts by attacking them with immunoglobulin E antibodies. The production of these antibodies causes mast cells in your body to create histamine, a chemical that protects against infection. Too much histamine released in soft tissue causes swelling throughout the body.

Ringing in Ears

The ringing in your ears that follows eating certain foods is directed connected to sinus inflammation. High histamine levels in your sinus tissue cause your nasal cavities to swell. The swollen sinuses prevent mucus from draining out of the nose, causing excessive mucus to congest the nasal passages. The buildup in the sinuses places pressure throughout the head, leading to pain in the cheeks, eyes, forehead, teeth and ears. The ringing in your ears should subside once the allergic reaction does.

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Treatment

The most effective treatment to prevent ringing in your ears is to avoid foods that trigger an allergic reaction in your body. Talk with an allergist about participating in allergy testing to receive a clinical diagnosis of your allergies. If you accidentally eat a food that you’re sensitive to, take an antihistamine and decongestant to alleviate the sinus pressure and block histamine from being produced in your body. Do not take any medication without first talking with your doctor.

Warning

Ringing in the ears might be a sign of anaphylaxis, a rare but severe allergic reaction. If you develop ringing in your ears -- along with facial swelling, chest pain, shortness of breath, a faint heart rate, rapid pulse, pale skin, hives and dizziness -- call 911 immediately. If not treated, a severe allergic reaction can cause death.

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