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Posts: 11
Hi Dr. Nagler--

Thank you for answering my questions on yawning/chewing changing T tone and or pitch which affects the sound in my head for a couple of seconds.  I appreciate the info you sent along as well.

One other question I forgot to ask.  Prior to the "guest from hell" as you have put it arriving in my head 4-months ago now, I would have that occasional one glass of red wine after work or out for dinner on a weekend etc.  Nothing excessive for sure. 

However, I found or at least it seemed**that following one glass of wine the T volume would rage higher the next morning so I have now eliminated it all together.

Oddly if I have a mixed drink with vodka etc - if anything it only dulls the for a short time T and then it just returns to normal the next day etc.

Is there anything special about Red Wine- maybe the sulfates etc - that may be causing this rise or is it possible that I'm just hitting it on a "bad day" as opposed to a good day.  I'm trying real hard to live life as "normal" as possible and not let the T control me and my every move --but at the same time trying not to agitate this new friend in my head :).d

Thank you,

Dr. Nagler

Posts: 1,764
Hi Jeff -

Thank you for your excellent question.

Some people say that red wine can exacerbate tinnitus, while others consider the association to be an urban myth.

Some of those who say that the association is real point to the sulfites in red wine as the culprit, but it turns out that there are more sulfites in white wine and even in dried fruit than in red wine. Some point to the particular bioflavinoids in red wine, but bioflavinoids are supposed to be helpful nutrients with antioxidant properties.

Who knows for sure? I certainly don't.

So when it comes down to issues like these, I tend to take a very pragmatic approach. Given that the effect of red wine on tinnitus - if an effect exists at all - is temporary, just assume purely for the sake of argument that the effect is real in some cases. Specifically assume that it is real your particular case. If we make this assumption, the question then comes down to (1) how much do you enjoy red wine and (2) to what extent are you willing to let your tinnitus dictate how you live your life.

In my own case, it turns out that my wife and I really love red wine. In fact we have a cellar filled with old red Bordeaux, old red Burgundies, and some absolutely wonderful California cabs. And there is just no way that I would give up drinking a glass or two with dinner even if I knew that it would temporarily exacerbate my tinnitus. On the other hand, I really don't care much at all for boiled Brussels sprouts. So if I knew that boiled Brussels sprouts exacerbated my tinnitus, I'd have no problem avoiding them ... because I never eat them to begin with.

The larger question really comes down to how much control you are going to allow tinnitus to exert on your life. Because as soon as you think you've found something you think you ought to avoid in the name of your tinnitus, up will pop something else that might - just might - cause a temporary exacerbation of your tinnitus. And then you're back to square one.

I hope this response clarifies more than frustrates!

Dr. Stephen Nagler
Atlanta Tinnitus Consultants, LLC


The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
- Mahatma Gandhi

No bird ever soared in a calm. Adversity is what lifts us.
David McCullough quoting Wilbur Wright
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