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.

May 2021 Ask Barry

Losing her hair over tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I have been taking Arches Tinnitus Formula now for over a year. I only came down with tinnitus two years ago. As others have stated, it is a terrible and frustrating problem. But, taking your formula has totally reduced the noise level for me completely. It was wonderful day when I was sitting in my home in silence and realized I had no noise in my left ear what so ever. It was amazing! I wanted to thank you for that.

Recently though, I noticed that I am losing more hair than normal. I read where blood thinners can cause loss of hair. And I believe that this might be the cause, since I have had no other medications and I have no history of hair loss in my family. This of course is upsetting and I am wondering what I can do? I know if I go off of the Tinnitus Formula I will get my terrible buzzing noise back. If I reduce the amount I take each day, I do not know if I will get back the noise or even if it will help on the hair loss issue? Any suggestions I would appreciate.

Thanks very much!
Elizabeth F.

Dear Elizabeth,

I’m sorry to hear about your hair loss. But I am happy your tinnitus is so much improved.

In the numerous clinical studies which have been done on the ingredients used in our Tinnitus Formulas, hair loss has never been noted or described as a side effect, nor have we ever heard of this phenomena from any of our customers. Ginkgo biloba doesn’t really cause blood  thinning but more accurately increases circulation.

In a clinical study published by the National Institute of Health in 1993 found that Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) could actually help hair regrowth.  In the study they wrote, “GBE had the inhibitory effects on blood platelet aggregation, thrombin activity and fibrinolysis. GBE inhibited the increase of serum the triglyceride level in high cholesterol diet-treated rats. These results suggested that GBE promotes the hair regrowth and could be used as a hair tonic.”

Conversely, prescription blood thinners have been shown to cause hair loss for some. In 2018, wrote, “Anticoagulants like heparin and warfarin are used to thin the blood and prevent blood clots and certain health concerns in some people (like those with heart conditions). These medications can cause hair loss that begins after taking these medications for about three months.”

So based on your information, I’m at loss to suggest what is causing your hair loss. Though, went on to offer, “Hormone therapies can trigger hormone imbalances in women, causing hair loss — and potentially causing permanent female pattern baldness. Birth control pills used for contraception and hormone replacement therapies (HRT), like progesterone and estrogen, are examples.” This may or may not be helpful, but I hope you can find the root cause of your problem.

But since your tinnitus is so greatly improved, you may not need to take the full dosage. You might try lowering your dosage gradually to two capsules daily. Go to three capsules daily for a couple of weeks. If the noise doesn’t come back, go to two. Hopefully, you’ll continue to have the same results with the tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Tinnitus only when he plays…

Dear Barry,

I am a musician and I have an anxiety disorder and take prescription medication for it. About the same time the 200 mg dosage of Zoloft kicked in (with euphoria), I began hearing a rasp or a grain within the tone of my trumpet. No other tinnitus. Just when I play my horn.

If I put ear plugs in, it cuts the rasp out, but of course a wind instrument player has to hear well his tone for the hearing interacts with the desire or intention to produce a tone similar to previous performances.

Of course I stopped taking the Zoloft right after I realized it was in my hearing and not in the instrument. Still, it was after the fact of getting the tinnitus rasp, and there is a commensurate effect in the production.

Happened 4 years ago; I cut out all caffeine; any comments Barry?


Dear Henry,

Prescription anti-depressants can be pretty nasty drugs. Most of them cause tinnitus at least some of the time and Zoloft is one of the worst offenders. It frequently causes tinnitus in those people who use it. There are a host of other unwanted side effects from these drugs. According to the Physician’s Desk Reference, Zoloft frequently causes the following: sexual dysfunction, impotence, heart palpitations, chest pain, weight gain, back pain and tinnitus. The list of infrequent but possible side effects is far too long to include here.

There are many other natural anti-depressants that work just as well or better than Zoloft and have no possible side effects. They’re not prescribed often by doctors because the pharmaceutical companies can’t patent them.

Some natural anti-depressants that come to mind are Ginkgo biloba, B-Complex vitamins, St. John’s Wort and SAMe. SAMe is pretty expensive and not covered by insurance but it can be effective as a natural anti-depressant.

You’re wise to stay off that prescription and play beautiful music.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Inflammation, Infection & Antibiotics and Tinnitus

Dear Barry,

I`m a twenty nine year old woman, and I have problem with tinnitus. I`ve heard about your company and your remedies, so I would like to ask you some questions. By the way I will try to explain you the beginning of my tinnitus.

In 1999 I suffered from a severe inflammation of the middle ear (bilateral) which lasted for about fifteen days. After taking antibiotics, the inflammation disappeared, but soon after that I started hearing a pulsating noise, in the rhythm of my heartbeats. The lower my head was, the louder was this noise. A few days later the intensity of the noise decreased, but it remains even today; and it still gets stronger if my head is in the lower position, or if I perform any physically intensive activity.

Also, at that time I noticed faint buzzing sound in my right ear, but it was so faint that I could only hear it if I was in a very quiet, soundless room. A year later this buzz got slightly louder, and I went to see my physician again, but I was told then that it would be best to wait and see how it develops, without any medication, but under my physician`s supervision. Unfortunately, a few months later, the buzz got even louder. If I remember well, just before it I had some viral infection, but I am not quite sure. That is when I started taking Trental 400, and after about six months of using it, the condition stabilized. Even the tonal diagram showed a stable state; actually my hearing was not damaged.

About a year ago I had a strong throat inflammation, and tinnitus increased again. I received intramuscular injections of vitamin B12, I took zinc, but not Trental. This state continued for almost a year, but about two months ago I had some urological problems and I used strong antibiotics (Ofloxacin). I think that after that my tinnitus mildly worsened. Also, I was using Trental 400 as intravenous infusions, and I using Gingko biloba extract, vitamin E, and zinc (per os).

Since my tinnitus appeared I’ve had no acoustic traumas, or heavier stress. I think that the beginning of my tinnitus is connected to infections and inflammations of the ear, which is something I am quite prone to. I don`t suffer from vertigo, and my tympanogramme is OK. Sometimes, when I get up quickly, the buzz increases. It lasts for about one to two minutes, and then it goes back to usual level. I have low blood pressure and according to my physician`s opinion it contributes to my bad blood circulation and tinnitus.

When I recently checked my hearing again, the results showed that there was no damage at all. So I believe that my tinnitus is connected with inflammations in ear and throat, and I suppose that my low blood pressure and my bad peripheral circulation also contribute to it significantly.

I need to inform you that I finished with using homeopathy remedies two weeks ago, but it didn`t have any improvement in my occasions.

Please Barry, can you tell me, what sort of remedies will you recommend to me (combo pack or something else), and what will you generally recommend to me?

Yours sincerely,
Dalibor M.

Dear Dalibor,

Thank you for your message. Everything you mention, inflammation, infection and antibiotics, are known to cause tinnitus. Ofloxacin is an antibiotic that can cause or increase tinnitus, however in only about 1% of people who use it.

It seems to me, as you suggest, the infections and antibiotics in combination with poor circulation are the cause of your tinnitus. Trental (pentoxifylline) is helpful for this as it increases circulation in much the same way as Ginkgo biloba. It decreases blood viscosity and allows the blood to flow easier into the microcapillaries that feed the eyes, ears and brain. Many European doctors use this treatment for tinnitus but not so many here in the US.

Ginkgo has the added advantages of being a powerful antioxidant and glutamate inhibitor. When the cochlea is damaged, as in most cases of tinnitus, it produces an excess of glutamate which becomes toxic to the neuro-receptors in the auditory nerve. These receptors begin to die and produce large amounts of free radicals, which cause most of the damage. Ginkgo helps reduce the amount of glutamate produced and also fights the ensuing free radicals. Trental does not have this capability. There have been clinical studies which show the superiority of Ginkgo over prescription medications that reduce blood viscosity.

We published an article earlier this year on Antioxidants, Health and Tinnitus which explains the role of free radicals in the creation of tinnitus in more detail.

The basic problem is the frequency of inflammation and infections that seems to plague you. Modern allopathic medicine is very good at treating the symptoms and ignoring the causes of problems such as this. If you can increase the effectiveness of your immune system, your body will fight off these infections before it becomes necessary for medical intervention. This is much easier said than done as the immune system is a complex mystery to even the best minds. The basics, of course, are good diet, plenty of exercise and high quality supplements, such as multivitamins and antioxidants, to provide the nutrients we don’t receive in our diet.

There has never been a single clinical study conducted on the effects of homeopathy on tinnitus. This is because there have never been any anecdotal stories of success. Clinical trials are very expensive and time consuming. Doctors and researchers are only interested in conducting clinical trials if they have a reason to believe it will be successful. I believe the main benefit of selling homeopathic remedies is that they are extremely inexpensive to manufacture. I have never heard of a single person with tinnitus who has been helped by homeopathy. They certainly sell a lot of their products though.

I recommend primarily Arches Tinnitus Formula and trying antioxidant vitamins (see article link above).  ATF provides therapeutic doses of our pharmaceutical-grade Ginkgo extract, Ginkgo Max 26/7, zinc picolinate and deodorized garlic. It must be used for three months (4 bottles) before it can be determined how effective it will be for tinnitus. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, which is a 100 day supply.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

April 2021 Ask Barry

Will ringing in ear from COVID vaccine go away?

Hi Barry,

After taking my 2nd shot of the Pfizer vaccine, I am experiencing an increase in the ringing in my left ear. I have tinnitus only in my left ear; my right ear is OK, no ringing. I just finished reading a site where about 100 entries complained about the vaccines and the increase of ringing, fullness in the ear and ear pressure.

So what is your prediction, will it go away or is it permanent? The site I referenced had a couple of people state that in 4 to 6 weeks the ringing got better.

Robert H.

Dear Robert,

I think this is quite rare and it should resolve. I had my second vaccination two weeks ago and I got sick the day after. That cleared up within another day and I have no other side effects.

Dr. Steven Rauch, Vice Chair for Clinical Research at Harvard Medical School says he has seen some episodes of hearing loss after vaccination. But, he says, they are always seeing hearing loss and it is impossible to discern if there is any change above the normal occurrence.

Said Dr. Rauch: “These effects seem to occur within the first two weeks post-injection and sometimes within just a few days. They appear to be temporary. The actual likelihood of this phenomenon and its clinical course are not well-defined — it’s just too soon to know.”

I hope your condition resolves and returns to its previous level. You can read our recent article based on Fall 2020 research on the COVID virus, hearing loss and tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Nutrients for “explosion” in her ear?

Good Morning Barry (I am in Australia).

I just wanted to firstly say how much I enjoy your very informative responses and articles.

I contracted tinnitus last November when awaking one morning with something similar to an explosion in my ear. It was terrifying to say the least. The buzz has lessened slightly but is much worse in the mornings and evenings.

I would like your opinion on some nutrients for the ear I have been offered. They are: colloidal minerals in liquid form; antioxidants – vitamins A,C and E; Ginkgo biloba; grape seed extract; pine bark extract; and circuminoids.

I would be very pleased if you could give your opinion as to whether these would be suitable for tinnitus and provide all the benefits to ease or eradicate the very debilitating noise.

Thank you so much,
Kind regards,
Celestine H.

Dear Celestine,

I’m sorry this has happened to you. Our article on “Sudden Brief Tinnitus” may be of some help.

I don’t personally know about colloidal minerals but the noted MD for natural treatments, Dr. Andrew Weil, wrote “To me these supplements exemplify obnoxious multilevel marketing in the name of natural medicine …and I have not seen convincing evidence of any therapeutic benefit from taking colloidal minerals.”

First, I think you should go in for a general checkup. There are many things that can cause tinnitus and some are medical conditions. Hearing loss is the largest contributor to tinnitus but others, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, also cause it and treatments for these conditions, (if you have them), can help calm tinnitus, sometimes to a great degree.

Antioxidants generally are great to take for tinnitus. When hearing cells are damaged, they produce large amounts of free radicals. Other than Ginkgo, the ones you mention may not directly reduce tinnitus but Vitamins A, C, and E are all good antioxidants. Grape seed extract, pine bark extract and anti-inflammatory curcuminoids like tumeric are also helpful.

You should add zinc picolinate to your menu. The highest concentration of zinc in the body is found in the cochlea and zinc has demonstrated the ability to reduce tinnitus. Zinc picolinate has the highest bioavailability of all zinc compounds.

Ginkgo biloba is very helpful for tinnitus. It helps in three ways; increased circulation, antioxidant activity, and glutamate antagonism. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that is responsible for overexciting the auditory pathway and causing tinnitus. Bilobalide is one of the active ingredients of Ginkgo biloba and helps neutralize glutamate.

Arches Tinnitus Formula contains Ginkgo Max 26/7, our proprietary ginkgo. It has the highest concentration of flavone glycosides, terpene lactones and bilobalide found in any product in the world and is very helpful for reducing tinnitus, especially in those who have hearing loss as the primary cause.

Arches Tinnitus Formula also uses zinc picolinate, and reduced odor garlic as it’s other two main ingredients. You must use it for three months to get the full effect so we recommend the Tinnitus Starter Kit, which contains the recommended three-month supply of the Tinnitus Formula.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Auditory Damage, Imbalance and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I have been diagnosed with auditory nerve damage in both ears. One is a bit worse than the other. It came on over the course of a few weeks, causing moderate tinnitus and significant imbalance.

Over the last four years, it has greatly improved but both conditions persist. I am at a livable spot with it although I am still searching for ways to reduce the symptoms. I was originally told that it was most likely caused by a virus that entered the ear, but later told by a second doctor that since it had affected both ears, they doubted it was a virus. No answers. Just that it is what it is.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how Arches might help me.

Thank you,
Craig Z.

Dear Craig,

I’m very sorry to hear this. It sounds like Meniere’s disease, which presents as vertigo, a low-pitched humming or ringing and frequently, ear fullness. Do you have any ear fullness? However, I would think that the specialists you’ve seen would pick up on this, if that’s what it is. If its a high-pitched ringing, that would indicate hearing loss, perhaps caused by noise exposure

If this is the case, Arches Tinnitus Formula may be helpful in reducing the sound level and dizziness. There are many clinical studies showing Ginkgo biloba (the primary ingredient in ATF) is effective in lowering the sound level of tinnitus and reducing dizziness.

It is necessary to use Arches Tinnitus Formula for three months before you can get the full effectiveness of the product. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

March 2021 Ask Barry

Inner Ear Spasm or Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

A physical therapist gave me the following information. Is this true?

“Muscle spasms in the inner ear can tense up (spasm) which can result in tinnitus, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in the ear.” And “ In rare cases, tinnitus is caused by a blood vessel disorder. This type of tinnitus is called pulsatile tinnitus.”

This physical therapist wants me to see another therapist who specializes in helping to relieve ear ringing. I don’t know what to do, and I don’t someone hurting me further.

Your thoughts please.
Teresa M.

Dear Teresa,

Thanks you for sending these questions.

Both statements you quoted are mostly correct but they refer to two different types of tinnitus.

Muscle spasm in the middle ear can result in tinnitus, hearing loss and fullness. Please note these are muscles in the middle ear between the eardrum and cochlea. There are no muscles in the inner ear, which is the cochlea. These muscles connect to the eardrum and as they spasm a doctor can actually observe the eardrum moving.

This is called Middle Ear Myoclonus and usually produces thumping, clicking or buzzing sounds. Sometimes it can sound like a typewriter. Treatment options include acupuncture, biofeedback and sometimes the use of anti-anxiety medication.

In the case of pulsatile tinnitus, a blood vessel disorder, such as blockage or twisting can cause the problem. The blood becomes turbulent and causes a whooshing or pulsing sound in synch with the heartbeat. There are several possible causes of this but the result is always turbulent blood flow.

In most cases a vascular surgeon can identify the cause of the turbulence and successfully treat it. Please see our article on Pulsatile Tinnitus.

It should be fairly easy to determine if you have one of these conditions. In one the doctor can observe the eardrum moving. In the other the sound corresponds to your heartbeat.

Both of these conditions are fairly rare. The majority of tinnitus cases are due to hearing loss. In this case Arches Tinnitus Formula can be helpful in reducing the sound level and aggravation of tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

The Tinnitus Formula Pedigree

Dear Barry,

Hope this message finds you well.

My Questions:

– Are the ingredients in Arches Tinnitus supplement USP tested / USP grade?

– Which countries do the ingredients come from?

– Can this work for tinnitus caused by either ototoxic substances and/or hearing loss?

Very much appreciate your kind answers,

Best regards,
Pierre Q.

Dear Pierre,

The ingredients in Arches Tinnitus products are United States Pharmacopeia (USP) tested and certified. This falls under the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices. Our California manufacturer is an FDA approved and monitored facility. As such, they are inspected and audited by the FDA on a regular basis.

All incoming raw product is analyzed and certified to meet cGMP and to have the minimum amounts and quality we have specified. After the manufacture, the completed product is analyzed again and a Certificate of Analysis is sent to us for every batch we receive. Please see the attachment.

In order to meet cGMP requirements, we are then obligated to send samples of each batch to an independent, third-party FDA approved laboratory for analysis and confirmation. Only then do our products go on the market and shipped to customers.

All components are supplied by US sources, which, also must meet cGMP requirements. The exception is the Ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo is native to China and they are the largest supplier of Ginkgo biloba extract in the world. But not all ginkgo extracts are alike. Our ginkgo is sourced from organically grown trees in China and harvested without harsh chemicals like many other ginkgoes. Our Ginkgo Max 26/7 is a proprietary extract which, contains a minimum of 26% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 7% terpene lactones (versus the standardized 24/6 ), and is the highest concentrations found in any ginkgo product. Our ginkgo is also analyzed as it comes to our manufacturer to ensure this is the minimum. Actual percentages are higher, as you can see from the Certificate of Analysis.

Interestingly, you are the first to enquire about USP testing in our 22-year history of being in business, so thanks.

Our products are designed specifically for people who have tinnitus due to hearing loss. One prominent Manhattan ENT has stated 75-80% of his tinnitus patients who have it due to hearing loss are successful in lowering their tinnitus level. Ototoxic medications cause hearing loss leading to tinnitus.

It does take time and we recommend using Arches Tinnitus Formula Starter Kit for three months before you can expect the full effects. We have created Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit at a reduced price. This includes a 3-month supply of the Tinnitus Formula.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Did ED Meds help his Tinnitus?

Hi Barry

I have had tinnitus since 2010. In 2014 I was in Colombia with my wife. My wife bought a Cialis tablet. I took the tablet and as a side effect the hissing sound almost completely disappeared.

I thought I discovered a treatment for this hissing sound, and after 2 – 3 days slowly the hissing sound came back. When I got home in Amsterdam and checked the internet for Cialis in relation to tinnitus. Much to my horror I only find negative stories about Viagra and tinnitus.

Since then I am scared to try again and still hear the hissing sound. Have you ever heard an equal story about Cialis in relation to tinnitus?

I am a former user of your product. Is it recommendable to use your product lifelong? Do you think it can prevent tinnitus?


Dear Bas,

Yes, it is true that Cialis and Viagra can cause tinnitus. However, this is fairly rare, occurring in 0.1 to 1% of people. Most do not get tinnitus from these drugs. I have used them fairly often in the past with no problem.

However, what they do to all people is lower blood pressure. In fact, Viagra was initially developed as a drug to lower blood pressure before they found this other side effect, better erections.

It appears that lowering your blood pressure has the effect of also lowering your tinnitus. This makes sense as high blood pressure worsens tinnitus.

I would not worry too much and would continue with the Cialis. If your tinnitus does worsen, stop using it immediately and the tinnitus should recede. You can also combine it with NAC and/or Arches Tinnitus Formula, which protect the neurons in the inner ear and help prevent tinnitus.

People who achieve tinnitus reduction with Arches Tinnitus Formula usually continue using it consistently over many years. It is possible to reduce the dosage and still get the desired effect. We do not recommend reducing the dosage below 1/2 the recommended dosage on the label.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

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