Questions asked by real people with tinnitus. Answered by tinnitus authority Barry Keate.

Arches Natural Products President, Barry Keate, understands the suffering caused by tinnitus. Having lived with tinnitus for over five decades, Barry is an expert on the condition and has made the recovery from tinnitus his life’s work.
NOTE: Ask Barry is pleased to be able to answer your questions based upon the information we have available. Our answers to inquiries are not substitutes for a physician’s advice nor are they reviewed by a physician. We encourage you to share any suggestions you have received from Ask Barry with your doctor.

September 2020 Ask Barry

High Flying Tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

Thanks for a great amount of information. My wife had developed tinnitus and she says it is like crickets. And chewing (food) seems to change the sound… pulsatile? She is having an MRI.

It clearly started after a flight from Florida to Pittsburgh and she said the plane was very loud. She was wearing the scopolamine patch behind the ear for motion sickness (something she has done numerous times). She is on a paleo diet, we raise our own grass fed meet and eggs and eat nothing out of a box, and says no dairy. So, could the plane ride have caused this? The patch? The pressure from the altitude?

Thanks again for your website.
Clayton M.

Dear Clayton,

The plane ride could have caused this. Both the noise from the engines and the changes in pressure could be the culprit. If the engine noise caused it, she has probably lost some hearing. If the pressure changes caused it, it could be the result of Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD) where the Eustachian tube is clogged.

I recommend a visit to an ENT doctor for a hearing test. This test will be able to differentiate between hearing loss and ETD.

I have not been able to find any information relating the scopolamine patch to tinnitus.

People with tinnitus need to be careful when flying. There are safeguards that can prevent damage from the noise and pressure changes. Please read our article on Flying with Tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Face Mask Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I like everyone else have been wearing a face mask. But as time went on I found the ear loops were making my ears painful and have had to resort to wearing a bandana tied around my nose and mouth.

I have noticed an increase in my tinnitus after wearing the face mask for a couple or weeks. I do suffer from a lot of excess ear wax and wonder if the pulling of the ear loops on my ears made things worse?

Sincerely,
Carole A.

Dear Carole,

I don’t know if the mask’s elastic bands were making your ear wax or tinnitus worse. However, there are masks that have loose string you tie behind your head. The top strings go over the ears and the bottom ones around your neck. They don’t exert any pressure on the ears and are much more effective than a bandana.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Cross-Over Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I am one of your customers. I have very loud ringing in each ear. They are at different levels of pitch and volume (caused by loud noise exposure). Usually I can easily tell them apart but sometimes they appear to “cross-over” to one very loud noise in the center of my head rather than on each side. When this happens, it causes me even more stress.

Have you heard of such a thing from anyone else? I use hearing aids with white noise or wave noise which is of some benefit in general, watch my salt intake, use blood pressure medicine as well as your supplement. But this what I call middle of the head “cross-over” causes me even more distress than the right and left ringing. Any thoughts? Both ears are constant 24 hours a day.

Thanks,
Rick

Dear Rick,

Tinnitus usually begins in the ear, especially if it is due to noise exposure. But it eventually moves to the auditory system in the brain. It is a condition that effects the entire auditory system, from the cochlea to the dorsal cochlear nucleus and onto the auditory cortex. Tinnitus can be heard in any of these structures. That’s the explanation but it doesn’t do much to help you.

You may be interested in trying another tinnitus therapy, along with Arches Tinnitus Formula. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy trains the brain to avoid the aggravation and distress of tinnitus.

Biofeedback trains the patient to control automatic functions of the body that were previously uncontrollable. You can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, practice deep relaxation, and more.

Both of these therapies are widely used to treat tinnitus and the majority of people who use them report very good outcomes. They both work well with Arches Tinnitus Formula

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

August 2020 Ask Barry

Notch Therapy for Tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

As you may know, a hearing aid maker (Signia) has developed a new therapy to help anyone suffering from tonal tinnitus. They call it Notch Therapy.

If you have any information or an opinion about such therapy, I would be grateful to hear it.

Thank you.
Paul W.

Dear Paul,

The idea of “notched” therapy for tinnitus is not new but is a valid approach to the problems of loudness, annoyance and anxiety in people with tinnitus. Early researchers in Germany, about 10 years ago, employed notched music therapy. They recorded music and digitally removed all sound in one octave surrounding the patient’s tinnitus frequency.

The theory was by removing the particular tinnitus frequencies, activating adjoining neurons would produce “lateral inhibition.” By this means, surrounding neurons, tuned to close but not overlapping frequencies would reduce the hyper excitability of neurons at frequencies damaged by tinnitus, resulting in lower sound levels. Results were substantially positive over a period of time. For more details, please read our article on Notched Music Therapy.

I went through Signia’s website for their products. Nowhere was there a mention of price. This is because they are distributed by audiologists, who also distribute Signia’s hearing aids. I believe, but not certain, these products would be priced comparative to the price of hearing aids, or $2,000 to $4,000 each.

Notched music therapy employed recorded music programmed into the device, which has a wide variety of frequencies. Music, especially symphonic music, has overtones and frequencies that can approach 12,000 Hz. The idea of a notched frequency hearing aid would be to amplify the frequencies surrounding those of tinnitus but not the tinnitus frequencies.

The question I have is for those who have high frequency hearing loss and tinnitus. There simply is not enough ambient sound to amplify in the higher frequencies. This is why hearing aids don’t mask my tinnitus, which is at 4,000 Hz. Many people have tinnitus at higher frequencies. I question whether a notched hearing aid would be effective for those with high frequency hearing loss.

If you try one of these products, please let me know your experience with them.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Baby Aspirin Therapy, Statins, and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I’ve had two incidences of eye stroke and my doctors added a baby aspirin (every other day) to my blood thinning regimen. I’m super sensitive to most drugs and especially ototoxic ones. I am deaf in one ear, have some hearing loss in the other, tinnitus in both so I want to be very careful with any risks.

Have you heard of baby aspirin therapy causing tinnitus or an increase in existing tinnitus? Is there a pattern of taking it that would guarantee no tinnitus?

They also added a statin to my treatment. So far, Lipitor and Crestor have caused roaring tinnitus and other intolerable side effects. Is there a statin you know of that does not cause tinnitus?

Thank you, again. I am so grateful for your expertise and service.

Jory F.

Dear Jory,

A baby aspirin should be completely safe to take, even on a daily basis. I have not heard of an 81 mg aspiring causing or worsening tinnitus.

I can’t go against your doctor’s orders but I’ve never been a fan of statins. Statins rob your body of CoQ10 which causes lots of problems.

CoQ10 is the molecule that produces energy for the body. Statins only cause tinnitus in a very small percentage of people who use them, less than 1%. But, if they cause it for you, that’s all you care about. I don’t know of any that would be safer to take. If you do take one, I suggest adding at least 300 mg CoQ10 to offset any ill effects.

The most effective form of CoQ10 is called Ubiquinol. CoQ10 must first be converted to Ubiquinol for the body to use it. It can be found in health food stores or online. Please see our article on CoQ10, statins and tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Treating Sudden Hearing Loss and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I have tinnitus in my right ear that is extremely loud. My ENT doctor has diagnosed it as onset of sudden deafness. He did three rounds of prednisone shots and a round of oral prednisone to no avail. Next step he wants me to have an MRI and try hyperbaric chamber.

I have cut out salt alcohol caffeine and NSAIDs. Do you have any suggestions? I’m begging. I can’t sleep at all at night.

Thank you,
Fran B.

Dear Fran,

Sudden hearing loss can be very traumatic and usually causes tinnitus. About 1/3 of people with this condition completely recover, another 1/3 will partially recover, and for 1/3 of people, the condition is permanent.

Researchers are discovering that most people with sudden hearing loss have elevated levels of homocysteine in their bloodstream. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced by the consumption of high levels of meat and dairy. It can be processed and neutralized by the vitamins B6, B12 and methylfolate. These ingredients can be found in Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula and Arches Tinnitus B12 Formula.

Also, large numbers of people with sudden hearing loss have metabolic syndrome. This is when any three of the following conditions apply: hyperglycemia or type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, elevated triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol (the “good” Cholesterol).

Ginkgo biloba extract, found in Arches Tinnitus Formula, has been shown in clinical trials to help people with sudden hearing loss to recover. They recover faster and more completely than those not taking ginkgo.

More detailed information can be found in our article, Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

July 2020 Ask Barry

Can Hearing Aids Help Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Do you recommend hearing aids with mild hearing loss, with tinnitus present? If so at what level of hearing loss do you recommend hearing aid? Also, at what level of hearing loss can you experience cognitive decline?

Respectfully,
Darrell

Dear Darrell,

Mild hearing loss probably does not require a hearing aid. If your tinnitus is from hearing loss, it’s probably at a high frequency and a hearing aid won’t help it anyway. I wear hearing aids because my hearing loss is moderate to severe, depending on the frequency. But it doesn’t do anything for my tinnitus because it’s at 4,000 Hz. There is not enough environmental sound at 4,000 Hz to amplify and mask tinnitus

If your hearing loss progresses toward moderate, you should probably get a hearing aid. Cognitive decline happens over time so you should stop it before it gets too bad. Read our article on Untreated Hearings Loss and Cognitive Decline for more detailed information.

Arches Tinnitus Formula should help reduce your tinnitus and at least prolong your hearing loss from deteriorating. It may help improve hearing. An old study on Ginkgo biloba in elderly people with hearing loss showed it improved hearing in the majority of them. Ginkgo biloba is the primary ingredient in Arches Tinnitus Formula.

It will be necessary to use it for three months (four bottles) before you get the full benefit. Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit is comprised of four bottles at a discounted price. You can purchase it here.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Movement Increases Her Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I have a high piercing one-note hiss. Sometimes so very loud it wakes me up at night. Other times I can hardly hear it. It is there all the time, I have had hearing tests and my hearing is excellent.

When I awake in the morning it is very loud. However, after I stand up for a few minutes it gets quieter. The sound could be minimal but if I do a head-neck movement and hear a crunch of the bone it starts up very loud immediately.

Thank you,
Joyce M.

Dear Joyce,

It seems to me you may have temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJD, which is when the jaw is out of alignment with the skull. When you sleep at night, you probably push it in one direction and wake up with tinnitus. This would also account for your head-neck movement causing it to start up.

TMJD can be treated by a dentist familiar with the condition. Standard treatment begins with a mouth guard, designed to keep your teeth aligned when sleeping. There are many other treatments, most painless and non-invasive. Here’s an article about TMJ disorder.  At the bottom of the article is a link to the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain, where you can find a list of expert dentists by location.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Energy Supplements and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I am a happy Tinnitus Formula customer. I started taking a Nitric oxide booster/energy supplement (L-Arginine + L-Citruline Malate + beet root powder). I believe I am getting additional energy from taking it. I have a suspicion it is making my tinnitus worse. If you are familiar with that type of product, could it be increasing my tinnitus?

As always thank you for supporting the tinnitus community.

Jim K.

Dear Jim,

I’m happy Arches Tinnitus Formula has been helpful for you with your tinnitus.

The supplements you mention are all good for improving endurance during exercise and should not increase tinnitus. We are all different though and the true test is what your body is telling you. Try stopping them for two weeks then starting again. If your tinnitus goes down, then back up when you restart, you’ll know at least one of the ingredients is causing the increase. You can then isolate the ingredient that is causing the increase.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

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