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.

March 2020 Ask Barry

Can Tinnitus Formula Help Hearing Loss?

Hi Barry,

My hearing loss isn’t improving despite taking niacin and histamine drugs. Followed by increased tinnitus. Do you think Arches Tinnitus Formula can help sir?

Thank you,
Jude P.

Dear Jude,

Yes, I think Arches Tinnitus Formula (ATF) can help restore some degree of hearing and also reduce your tinnitus.

Clinical studies have shown Ginkgo biloba, the primary ingredient in ATF, restores hearing. One study conducted on patients with hearing weakness due to inner ear problems and using ginkgo, reported 35 of 59 patients in the study had either successful or very successful improvements in hearing.

Another study of 350 patients with hearing defects due to old age were treated with ginkgo extract. The success rate was 82% and a follow-up study of 137 of the original group 5 years later revealed that 67% still had better hearing.

There are also numerous clinical studies showing Ginkgo is an effective treatment for tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula is successful in restoring some degree of hearing, preventing further deterioration of hearing, and reducing tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Driven to Despair by Tinnitus


I need help. I am suicidal every day. I cannot cope with tinnitus.

Tommy P.

Dear Tommy,

Please do not despair. I know how bad tinnitus can be and I was once pretty much in your shoes. I remember thinking that I couldn’t possibly go on with it as bad as it was. There are treatments that really work to get tinnitus reduced and get your life back together. My tinnitus has gone down by about 2/3.

Stress and anxiety are the leading triggers for tinnitus. If you can reduce your stress levels, tinnitus will reduce as well. I know this is easier said than done but there are ways to accomplish this. Biofeedback and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will be very helpful. They are both recognized by the American Academy of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat doctors) as being effective. They are available in the UK and are usually administered by psychologists. They will train you to reduce tension and deeply relax. Here are articles about these therapies.

If you are overweight, insulin resistant or diabetic, this is a major cause of tinnitus. You can reduce it by consuming a good diet and exercise regularly. Salt is a major contributor to tinnitus and patients are advised to reduce salt intake. Eat plenty of whole, fresh food, avoid packaged foods and snacks, don’t drink carbonated beverages or visit fast food restaurants. This will take some time but it is very effective.

Your tinnitus may be associated with hearing loss. This is the most common cause and close to 85% of people with tinnitus have it due to hearing loss. For this, Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7 is very effective. One prominent ENT in Manhattan states he has success with 75 – 80% of people who have tinnitus due to hearing loss.

All of these therapies take time. But if you are willing to put forth the effort to manage your tinnitus, I’m certain it will significantly reduce the sound level.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

How to deal with Somatic Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I believe I have somatic tinnitus.  I am desperately searching for help. I’ve had it for 4 1/2 years and just stumbled on your site.  I live in NY. What’s my next step?

Lauren G.

Dear Lauren,

Somatic tinnitus occurs when signals from the body interfere with auditory signals to cause or worsen tinnitus. One of the common causes of this is TMJ dysfunction, where the jaw is out of alignment with the skull. A dentist familiar with the condition can tell you if you have it and, if so, can treat it. The most common treatment is use of a bite guard while sleeping that will help re-align the jaw.

Another common cause is spasm of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle. This muscle starts under the ear and is what you use when turning your head. Spasm in the SCM can be treated by a physical therapist. You could see your family doctor about this and he or she would be able to refer you.

Biofeedback and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) are often used to treat muscle and upper cervical problems that cause tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

February 2020 Ask Barry

Unable to Study with Tinnitus Crisis

Hi Barry,

I am 21 years old and am in my senior year of college. I’ve always had a low level of tinnitus I was able to manage since high school but recently my tinnitus has gotten louder and so bad that even masking doesn’t help anymore. I can’t really sleep but when I do, I wake up halfway through the night with the Tinnitus screaming (I have it in both ears).

I don’t know what caused my tinnitus but I’m so scared and in a bit of a crisis dealing with this so young and not being able to concentrate in school anymore I’m afraid of dropping out. I want to be able to sleep but i don’t want to take pharmaceutical drugs even my therapist says i might need to. How did you get out of a crisis and sleep?

Thank you for your time.

Dear Yas,

I know what you’re feeling. I was just a bit older than you (mid 20’s) when I came down with tinnitus. I was extremely distraught and wondered how I could live my life with this. Since then my tinnitus has been lowered by about 65%.

One of the major problems with tinnitus is the issue of anxiety. Stress and anxiety make tinnitus much worse than it would otherwise be. It’s a vicious cycle, tinnitus causes anxiety and the anxiety increases tinnitus. It is important though to try and reduce anxiety. Exercise, eat healthy, avoid salt and simple carbohydrates, and try to occupy yourself in something that will take your mind off it. All this will help.

There are several therapies available that are proven to reduce tinnitus sound levels. Biofeedback and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are two of the most mainstream therapies. These take time and can be expensive but they are effective.

Arches Tinnitus Formula is the only scientifically validated dietary supplement treatment for tinnitus. It is completely natural and does not contain any sedatives which would inhibit active thought and learning. It has been shown in numerous clinical trials to alleviate tinnitus. It does take some time, three months, to get the full effect, but is not expensive. Three months (4 bottles) of Arches Tinnitus Formula costs about $130.00.

You can also take melatonin to get some better sleep. I recommend 20 mg about 90 minutes before bedtime. Melatonin is also natural, inexpensive and found in health food stores or online.

Here is an article about my struggle with tinnitus and what I eventually learned that has made it much more livable.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can you take too much Vitamin B?

Hi Barry,

My question is regarding B vitamins, and how they can be toxic. I have had doctors tell me that taking to many much B vitamins can cause permanent nerve damage. What amount of B vitamins do you have to take and for how long before they become toxic?

Respectfully submitted,

Hi Darrell,

Thanks for asking this question. It is a valid concern and not many people are aware of any toxic levels for B vitamins. B vitamins are essential in that they enable many of the basic functions of metabolism in the body.

Generally, B Vitamins are water soluble and flush through the body quickly. For this reason they need to be replenished on a daily basis. Most of the B vitamins are non-toxic at any level but there are some for which you should be careful.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) – At doses higher than 50 mg per day, skin flushing may occur with some forms of niacin. This is harmless and only lasts a few minutes. Arches uses niacinamide which generally does not cause flushing. Therapeutic doses of 1500 to 1600 mg per day can be used but with the risk of liver toxicity. Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula contains 100 mg.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – Diarrhea can occur at doses of 10 – 20 grams per day. Arches Stress Formula contains 100 mg.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – An acute toxic dosage has not been established but B6 may cause neurotoxicity at a dose of 300 to 500 mg per day. Arches Stress Formula contains 100 mg.

Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – Doses above 1000 mcg (micrograms) could conceal the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency in older people. Arches Tinnitus B12 Formula contains 400 mcg of methylfolate, a superior form of folic acid which does not need to be metabolized for absorption. It also contains 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12.

The B vitamin your doctor was most likely referring to is B6, which can cause nerve damage. However, Arches Stress Formula and most other companies B-complex vitamins have dosages well below the threshold level for any damage.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Do hearing aids help or hurt Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I use in-the-ear hearing aids which I wear until bedtime. Do these have any impact on ringing in the ears, either good or bad?  What are the best hearing aids for those who have tinnitus?

Rick T.

Dear Rick,

The answer really depends on the frequency of your hearing loss. If you, like most people with tinnitus, have a high frequency hearing loss, hearing aids won’t do anything for it. The reason being there is not enough high frequency sound in the environment to amplify and mask tinnitus. My tinnitus is at 4,000 Hz and I wear hearing aids which help me hear better but don’t mask my tinnitus at all.

If you have a low frequency hearing loss and tinnitus, hearing aids will be helpful.

Regardless of their effectiveness in masking tinnitus, hearing aids are very important in order to prevent cognitive decline as we age. Research has shown that uncompensated hearing loss leads to a loss of neurons in the brain. This eventually leads to brain shrinkage and cognitive decline.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

January 2020 Ask Barry

Can Dental Fillings Worsen Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I’ve had tinnitus for 15 years. The buzzing in my head caused me to lose my job. Recently I had 12 amalgam fillings removed that I’ve had since I was 10 years old. I am at retirement age now.

After the last three amalgams were removed my noise level has dropped from a 10 (loud buzzing) to a 2 (much more tolerable). Could the amalgams of played a role in my tinnitus? I also have MS but am very active and eat organic. I feel the noise I have is more of a brain noise than any sort of ringing. Removal of the amalgam fillings I feel has really helped the buzzing to become more tolerable, could that be? Any studies on this?

Joan F.

Dear Joan,

Yes, it’s entirely possible removing the amalgam fillings is responsible for your decrease in tinnitus. Amalgam fillings are primarily mercury, a neurotoxin. It is known that this can cause tinnitus and removing them can help. It may also help your MS. Here’s an article on amalgam fillings and tinnitus.

Wish you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Ginkgo Allergens?

Hi Barry,

I just read that Ginkgo has alkylphenols in it and the article said that people who are highly allergic to poison ivy should avoid taking it. Is this true?

Thank you,
Jane L.

Dear Jane,

This is partially true. Ginkgo biloba does contain alkyphenols, the primary one being ginkgolic acid, which is an allergen and can produce allergic reactions like poison ivy. However, most reputable manufacturers remove this during the extraction process. The German Commission E standard for ginkgo extracts requires there be less than 5 ppm (parts per million) ginkgolic acid. Some less than reputable manufacturers don’t remove it.

Arches Tinnitus Formula uses our proprietary ginkgo extract Ginkgo Max 26/7. This contains less than 1 ppm ginkgolic acid. This means it is non-detectable. You can see our entire Ginkgo Certificate of Analysis on this page. The ginkgolic acid figure is at the bottom of the page.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can Yoga make Tinnitus worse?

Hello Barry,

Can tinnitus get worse after yoga exercise? And can tinnitus get worse in social gatherings?

Thank you,
Sylvia H.

Dear Sylvia,

Tinnitus can get worse after any exercise however it usually doesn’t last long. In fact, it has been shown that Yoga increases GABA production in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that helps to calm electrical activity and reduces tinnitus in the long run. In one study participants underwent 60 minutes of yoga exercise and were compared to a group that spent the time reading. Participants in the yoga study increased brain GABA levels by 27% over those in the reading group.

If social gatherings are loud, they can definitely worsen tinnitus. Most times it will only be a temporary worsening. However, repeated exposure to loud sound can result in damaged hearing that will make tinnitus permanently worse. It’s a good idea to wear hearing protection during exposure to loud sound to prevent permanent damage.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Ask Barry Questions Categories

Causes of Tinnitus & Related Conditions

View FAQ

Tinnitus Treatments & Related Medicine

View FAQ

Other Supplements for Tinnitus

View FAQ

Ask Barry Your Questions on Tinnitus

Do you have a question on tinnitus or our products? Ask Barry. Tinnitus expert Barry Keate will research and answer your questions on tinnitus.
Due to the high volume of questions sent to us, we ask that only one question be sent at a time.