Questions Asked by the Tinnitus Community - Answers Provided by Arches President, Barry Keate

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.
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

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?

Regards,
Bas

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

The COVID Vaccine and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I was wondering if you can comment on the possible ototoxicity of the COVID vaccine or is it too soon to tell? If those of us have had problems with hearing loss and increase in tinnitus from the flu shot in the past, would you recommend that we did NOT get the COVID vaccine? Are there similarities?

I realize COVID itself can possibly cause hearing loss, tinnitus and dizziness as can the medicine used to treat it. It’s a real dilemma.

Thank you,
Jory

Dear Jory,

I cannot comment on this because I don’t know. There has not been any research I’m aware of that indicates whether or not the vaccine causes tinnitus. I believe it acts a lot like the flu vaccine. I’m surprised you have had a problem with the flu vaccine. It’s the first I’ve heard.

I would not advise you to avoid the COVID vaccine(s). You can prepare yourself by taking antioxidants before and after the vaccine. I recommend 1,000 mg NAC, taken twice daily. Magnesium is also been shown to prevent hearing loss and tinnitus. Take a good quality product, not magnesium oxide but one chelated for easier absorption. Magnesium aspartate or magnesium citrate are good products. Take about 400 mg twice daily. Start two weeks before the vaccination and continue for a month afterward.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Cortisone Injections and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

In early September, I had a Cortisone injection in my shoulder for arthritis damage that had destroyed some, but not all of the cartilage. The good news is that within 24 hours there was a marked improvement with my range of motion. The bad news is that within 12 hours my normal blood sugar early morning readings of 110 had spiked to 198 along with higher blood pressure. And to make matters worse I had a big spike in my tinnitus.

The blood sugar and blood pressure has resolved, but the tinnitus is still elevated after 2 1/2 weeks. Are you aware of other cases of these adverse effects on tinnitus?

Thanks,
Douglas C.

Dear Douglas,

This is a very unfortunate occurrence. Steroid shots can elevate blood pressure, blood glucose levels and tinnitus. It is not terribly common but does happen in up to 10% of people who receive cortisone shots.

I had osteoarthritis in my knee and took cortisones shots every six months until I had knee replacement therapy this August. I didn’t have any of the side effects that you mention. I would consider forgoing any further cortisones shots.

Hopefully the tinnitus spike will also resolve over time. If not, Arches Tinnitus Formula can be helpful.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

VNG Test for Recent Tinnitus Sufferer?

Hi Barry,

I recently just suffered from what they usually called tinnitus for 5 days. I went to an ENT doctor who did a lot of tests to me. My doctor said everything turned out normal and I could clearly hear things. She referred me to take a VNG test. I don’t know if this can get rid of the sound I’ve been hearing.

Also, my ENT told me about your product that supposedly helps to get rid of the ringing thing or ease it at least. Is it possible that this could just go away?

Thanks in advance,
Gilbert A.

Dear Gilbert,

A VNG is a test called a Videonystagmography. It is used for testing inner ear and central motor functions, a process known as vestibular assessment. It involves the use of infrared goggles to trace eye movements during visual stimulation and positional changes.

This is used to determine if you have Meniere’s disease, which is characterized by periods of extreme dizziness and a low frequency buzzing or ringing in the ears. If you do not have any dizziness, the chances are you do not have Meniere’s.

It is possible the ringing could go away on its own. Many cases of short duration, within a couple of months, resolve by themselves. If it does not resolve, I recommend trying Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of Arches Tinnitus Formula. This should reduce the sound and aggravation of the tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Persistent Tinnitus after Getting COVID

Hi Barry,

In mid-July I contracted the Corona Virus. I only noticed the loss of taste/smell and had an array of headaches and mild fever for approximately 7 days.

On August 11th I took another Covid test, and as it was being administered, felt a significant discomfort and feared as to how deep that swab went into what I thought was my brain. Post the test, on the way home I played music in my car and as I arrived at home got a huge headache. When I arrived home, I took a short nap, and woke up with this ringing in my ears. It was so sudden and scary, it felt similar to the sound in your ears when you return from a concert and are about to go to sleep.

Ever since the ringing has not subsided. Sometimes the volume increases and it feels as if it travels from one ear to the other. I’ve had a very hard time accepting this, sleeping and insomnia have taken a toll on me.

I would like to know, given the fact that Corona Virus is so new, if there are other people experiencing a similar situation as mine – Did Corona weaken my hearing canals as well?

With high regards,
Fernando

Dear Fernando,

I’m very sorry this happened to you. The COVID-19 is very new. There are billions of dollars being spent trying to find a vaccine but there hasn’t been enough time or money to study all the possible effects post-COVID-19.

There is a very new study conducted in the UK on the number of people who survived COVID-19 hospitalization and who reported hearing loss and/or tinnitus. About 13% of those people reported new or increased rate of hearing loss or new or increased tinnitus.

The researchers stated there was no way at this point to determine exactly what caused the hearing loss and tinnitus. It could have been the increased stress caused by being hospitalized or it could have been the ototoxic effects of the primary medicines used to treat the virus. All of the most popular treatments cause damage to hearing and tinnitus. Further studies are needed to determine cause and effect.

I hope this condition resolves itself, and it may, but we don’t know. In the meantime, it would be wise to use Arches Tinnitus Formula for your tinnitus. It takes a full three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles.

Wishing you quiet time,
Barry Keate

Fear of MRI noise affecting Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I am age 70 and have had tinnitus since age 20 from exposure to live music. I also developed hyperacusis. I need a brain MRI.

Any advice? I’m really petrified. Also, does doing an MRI under anesthesia prevent worsening tinnitus?

Thank you so much,
Robert

Dear Robert,

I’m sorry you developed tinnitus and hyperacusis (extreme sensitivity to sounds). The reason for an MRI is to rule out acoustic neuroma, a very rare occurrence of a non-malignant growth on the hearing nerve. The great majority of these tests turn out negative.

An MRI is fairly loud so you should take precautions. Use earplugs and ask for hearing protection during the procedure. If they have protective headphones, put them on over the earplugs. That should reduce the noise to a level that won’t be harmful.

I doubt they will provide anesthesia for this. But if you have something that can help calm you down, like a Valium or Klonopin, you may want to take one before the procedure. That should make the whole process much more relaxing.

You can also take Arches Tinnitus Formula to reduce the tinnitus sound level. It takes 3 months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a complete 3-month supply of four bottles.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate


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