Can Diet Improve Focus in Those with ADHD?

the letters A D H D held up with a thumb take on white washed boards with veggies on the left side
Cheri Moore

Written by Cheri Moore

February 12, 2024

Can diet improve focus in those with ADHD? What you eat affects your ear, nose, and throat affecting ability to listen, focus. As I took each client’s medical and trauma history, I began to see a common predisposition for food sensitivities, food allergies, and/or poor ear, nose, and throat health. Therefore, people with ADHD can improve their focus by changing what they eat.

Long ago, I stopped asking myself, “What causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?”. Each client’s history was so unique that I began to understand that more than genetics contributes to their attention deficits.

Diet Affects Your Brain and Ears, Focus

Did you know that there are Six Foods Contributing to Inflammation of the eustachian tubes that diminish your hearing? Thus, your diet affects your focus because what you eat can contribute to fluid in the middle ear with or without an ear infection. Additionally, pressure in your middle ear builds up causing discomfort like what you feel when a plane takes off.

There are numerous types of poor ear, nose, and throat health that diminish your hearing. For example, some clients suffered from ear infections during their formative years of brain development. Others snored due to enlarged adenoids disrupting their quality of sleep. Many clients suffered from chronic congestion or eustachian tube inflammation due to environmental allergies or sensitivities to foods. Diet can improve ear health, and thus, your focus. When treatment is delayed, research shows negative effects on brain development during developmental years that include high school.

Needless to say, whether you have ADHD or not, your diet can improve your ability to focus and so much more. I created the Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire to improve your ability to communicate your needs with doctors. Your Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire Report and additional help from me validate our requests.

I am passionate about guiding and supporting clients through the process of referrals to specialists. Most importantly, I work with clients reviewing medical and injury history to improve the client’s ability to respond to auditory integration training, vision therapy, and maintain progress.

I Can’t Improve My Focus – Common Complaints From Those with ADHD

The most common complaint shared by my clients with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is difficulty ignoring sounds. They hear everything and sometimes sounds cause discomfort. Even more frustrating, competing background speech and noise distracts clients with sound intolerance.

Girl with ADHD who is staring off into the distance, lacks focus during class.

Did you know that being able to focus on one person talking and ignoring background sound is an auditory processing skill that develops during childhood? Thankfully, your brain can change at any age helping you benefit from auditory integration training.

Hearing and Vision are Connected

Most of my clients with sound sensitivities also struggled with vision that blurred and/or letters that appeared to move while reading. When there is diminished hearing, the inner ear’s vestibular system is also under-stimulated negatively affecting the coordination of head, neck, and eye movement. The eyes must move together in all directions to keep vision single and clear. I wonder if changes in diet would improve the eyes ability to work together, and thus focus?

How well would you pay attention, work, and learn if you were unable to ignore sounds and objects blurred or appeared to double, shift, and move?

Cheri Moore

Understanding ADHD

Hearing Difficulties and Sound Sensitivities

Long ago, researchers found that the middle ear stapedius muscle protects the cochlear from harmful levels of sound.

Do you remember learning about the three bones in the middle ear during health or science class? The smallest bone, the stapes bone, taps on the cochlea amplifying sound energy that is then absorbed by the hairs in the cochlea. What most of us were not taught is that when sound levels are too loud, the stapedius muscle pulls the stapes bone away from the cochlea.

Changes in diet can improve focus by eliminating inflammation within your hearing system. After one client changed his diet to avoid food allergies, I saw improvements in sound tolerance.

Numerous events like ear infections, inflamed eustachian tubes, congestion, and enlarged adenoids can diminish the ability for sound energy to strongly stimulate the stapedius nerve and muscle. Also, unknown food allergies and sensitivities can inflame the hearing system so much that a person experiences hearing difficulties, sound sensitivities.

What Happens When the Stapedius Muscle Fails to Receive Enough Sound Energy Stimulation?

The stapes bone taps on the cochlea sending sound energy that is too loud into the cochlea. As a result, the person experiences physical discomfort often described as knife-like pain in the ear. In 2015 and 2016, researchers shared that an absent stapedius acoustic reflex is strongly associated with typical hearing loss and a hidden hearing loss called Central Auditory Processing Deficits.

ear diagram explains lack of focus

Diet Can Improve Focus for Those with ADHD

I will never forget one of my kindergarten students asking the child standing next to him in line,

“Why are you hurting my ears?”

Thankfully, I recognized my student’s sound sensitivity behavior and encouraged the other student to whisper.

Later, I learned that an egg allergy, diet, was causing inflammation in his eustachian tubes. A change in his diet improved focus. Amazingly, this little one’s speech became more fluent and clear after his mother eliminated eggs from his diet.

Strengthening Your Hearing

I have personally seen improvements that are hard to comprehend after a client completed a food elimination plan, changed their diet to improve focus. Knowing which foods to rotate or eliminate from one’s diet should be done with the guidance of IgG food sensitivity testing and IgE food allergy testing (blood test-antibodies). But this isn’t the whole picture.

people getting food at an event buffet; diet affects focus

Yes, removing inflammatory foods from your diet can improve your focus. However, after you reduce the inflammation, you are left with a weakened hearing system. Taking the next step to strengthen your hearing system is just as important as removing the source of the inflammation.

I ensure clients have healthy ears so they can respond strongly to 10 to 14 days of auditory integration training. When a healthy hearing system receives strong sound energy, your hearing system continues to strengthen. Consequently, your tolerance to sounds will continue to improve. Then, online auditory processing games strengthens your ability to listen with comprehension and remember.

Resources so Diet Can Improve Focus

Because food plays such an important part in your ear health, I encourage you to use my free resources to change your diet to improve your focus.

Take the Next Step to Stregthen Your Hearing

I have personally changed my diet to improve my focus and eliminate tinnitus. Part of that journey included auditory integration training and supplements.

If you would like to work with me to strengthen your hearing, I encourage you to complete the Moore Auditory-Visual Questionnaire. After you complete the questionnaire, I will work with you one on one to develop your auditory-visual training protocol.

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