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.
“Solving” the Tinnitus Problem

Hi Barry,

I have really a loud and nasty ringing. I see an ENT doctor once a year (for the last 3) especially for hearing loss which I guess is moderate. She said that she doesn’t believe that tinnitus will be solved during her lifetime. I’m a senior, so am at the shorter end of my life span, but I’m just curious if that is true.

Thank you,
Cassie C.

Dear Cassie,

When your ENT says “solved”, she means a cure. She is correct in that we are a long way from a cure. Tinnitus represents neuronal death in the cochlea which reverberates through the auditory nerve to the auditory cortex. It is very complex and a cure may not be available until there is successful stem cell therapy.

Nonetheless, there are quite a few therapies that can reduce the loudness and aggravation of tinnitus. Most cases, including yours, are caused by hearing loss, which destroys the hair cells in the inner ear.

Many clinical studies have shown Ginkgo biloba extract to be effective in reducing the noise of tinnitus. One prominent Manhattan ENT states that 75 – 80% of his patients who have tinnitus due to hearing loss are helped by using Arches Tinnitus Formula and are satisfied with the results.

Other worthwhile therapies are biofeedback, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and modifications to diet and exercise. Articles on these therapies can be found in our Tinnitus Library.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Getting the Right Ginkgo… and Getting Ginkgo Right

Hi Barry,

I recently purchased your “Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7” to control my tinnitus. I studied much of the subject matter on tinnitus relief and found that Ginkgo biloba combined with ECg 761 had a better result than other formulas without it.

I purchased the Starter Kit of your tinnitus formula but didn’t see any mention of ECg 761. Does your formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7 contain ECg 761 (as I assume) or, if not, do you have a ginkgo that does? Your response would be very welcomed.

Thank you!
Richard M.

Dear Richard,

You mean EGb 761. This is what ginkgo extract is called in Europe. It was named by the Dr. Wilmar Schwabe company in Germany that developed the first extract. In the US this is known as standardized Ginkgo biloba Extract 24/6 named for the amounts of flavonol glycosides and terpene lactones in the extract.

The Europeans are very strict in their regulation of dietary supplements. The US, not so much so. Consumer Labs has tested many ginkgo brands and found that 77% of them sold in the US do not contain the specific amounts of certain components required to qualify as the standardized extract. There are some good products that do contain everything required but there is no way to know for certain if you’re getting the good products or not.

Ginkgo Max 26/7Ò was developed by Arches to contain higher amounts of these components than required for EGb 761. It was designed specifically for people with tinnitus. It is a more highly refined and powerful extract that exceeds any other ginkgo product including EGb 761.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Negative Ginkgo Report proves Questionable

Hi Barry,

I use your products religiously, but have a important question. My wife receives a “Health newsletter” and in this month’s edition they listed Ginkgo biloba as “avoid” using due to the National Toxicology Program report published in 2013 that there is evidence Ginkgo biloba caused liver cancer in mice and some evidence Ginkgo caused thyroid cancer in rats. Can you please respond to this study?

Thank you,
Walter B.

Dear Walter,

This is a controversial report from the National Toxicology Program. The American Botanical Council has called into question and refuted many of the assumptions of the report and urges people not to be misled by it.

First, the amount fed to the laboratory mice was an astounding 2,000 mg per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of body weight, taken every day over a period of 2 years. This is equivalent to me (at 165 lbs or 75 kg) taking 150,000 mg daily, an over 300-fold increase of my daily dosage. The total daily dosage of our proprietary ginkgo, Ginkgo Max 26/7®, in Arches Tinnitus Formula is 480 mg.

Second, the Ginkgo extract used was not a commercial preparation used in the United States or anywhere else. It was a sub-standard product from China that “did not conform to well established chemical profiles, quality and purity” of the leading extracts used in commercial Ginkgo biloba. The amounts of the individual components, ginkgo flavone glycosides, terpene lactones, bilobalide and ginkgolides were far in excess of anything found in commercial ginkgo. The extract itself has not been used in any commercial preparation.

Lastly, Ginkgo biloba has been used safely since its original formulation in the 1960’s by the Willmar Schwabe Co. of Germany. Tens of millions of people use ginkgo daily and it is the #2 prescribed medicine in Germany and France, where it is considered a prescription medication. It is one of the world’s most popular herbs. Were it to really cause cancer, we would have known this a long time ago. This report is an outlier and should not be considered representative of real-world conditions.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Dietary Tinnitus Triggers?

Hi Barry,

I have been taking the Tinnitus Formula since Feb. 19. Last week my tinnitus got worse, making it hard to focus. Is it normal for it to get worse before it gets better?

Are there specific vitamins, minerals, and foods that are known to be triggers to make the tinnitus worse?

Thanks!
Diane M

Dear Diane,

No, this is not normal and it’s very likely caused by something else. I have been getting a lot of messages from people whose tinnitus has spiked in the last couple of weeks. In many cases this spike in tinnitus intensity is caused by additional stress from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with the necessity to shelter in place, and the isolation of social distancing.

Stress is the #1 trigger for tinnitus and can worsen it significantly. When the stress recedes, tinnitus tends to go back to its previous level.

There are a lot of foods that can worsen tinnitus. Fast food contains high amounts of sodium, which makes tinnitus worse. Sodas, especially diet sodas, should not be consumed as the artificial sweeteners in most can trigger tinnitus.

I hope this is helpful and your tinnitus reduces.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

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

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.
Yas

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

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?

Thanks,
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

Treating Tinnitus due to Aging

Hi Barry,

Can Arches Tinnitus Formula be of help to those suffering from tinnitus which my doctor comments that its due to aging?

Thanks,
Evelyn L.

Dear Evelyn,

Yes, this is exactly the cause Arches Tinnitus Formula can help with. Hearing loss is the #1 cause of tinnitus and as we age, we gradually lose hearing. This is called presbycusis and is common among older people. This loss of hearing is what is causing your tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in numerous clinical trials to reduce tinnitus loudness for most people who use it. It is especially helpful for those who have tinnitus due to hearing loss and/or noise exposure. It can also be helpful for those who have tinnitus due to toxic medications. One prominent Manhattan ENT says he has a 75-80% success rate with these patients using Arches Tinnitus Formula.

It takes three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles. You can purchase each bottle separately but the Starter Kit offers a significant price discount and you don’t have to worry about running out during the critical three-month period.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Learn to Live with It?

Hi Barry,

I have an appointment with ENT doctor… again. I go and find one about every 4-5 years hoping there’s something for my problem.  Hopefully there’s something new out there.

In 2005 I was told there is NOTHING any doctor can do so just learn to live with it!
So now I have done the hearing tests and I do not have any hearing loss. I’m thinking this is good, right?

I was told by another doctor after he almost strangled me that “you have weak canals” I was told there was a pill to take but it doesn’t take the buzzing/ringing away? Really? Why bother?! Then in 2015 after another test, I was told me that “you can’t have different loss in just one ear.”

I’m just about to give up totally, have one more appt this week… If I wear noise cancelling headphones I still have the noise but it’s a wee bit softer. But I can’t sleep well with them on.

Please help,
Debbie M.

Dear Debbie,

The American Tinnitus Association has been trying for years to stop ENTs from saying, “There’s nothing we can do and you should learn to live with it”. That is simply not true and it only shows this doctor is not familiar with tinnitus treatments. While there is no known cure for tinnitus, there are many therapies that are helpful for reducing the sound level and anxiety caused by tinnitus.

Therapies such as hypnosis and biofeedback are very helpful in lowering tinnitus. A proper diet can also reduce it. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness training are endorsed by many tinnitus specialists as effective for reducing tinnitus. You can read about these therapies in our Tinnitus Library .

You mentioned a test in which you were told, “You can’t have a different loss in just one ear”. You certainly can and this indicates you have some hearing loss in one ear. Hearing loss is the primary cause to tinnitus and occurs in about 80% of patients.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in numerous clinical trials to reduce tinnitus loudness for most people who use it. It is especially helpful for those who have tinnitus due to hearing loss and/or noise exposure. It can also be helpful for those who have tinnitus due to toxic medications. One prominent Manhattan ENT says he has a 75-80% success rate with these patients using Arches Tinnitus Formula.

It takes three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles. You can purchase each bottle separately but the Starter Kit offers a significant price discount and you don’t have to worry about running out during the critical three-month period.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Help Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

What is your take on transcranial magnetic treatment? When people can’t do antidepressant meds because none appear to be user friendly this approach is an option.

Not sure if this is wise. It appears that when someone suffering tinnitus can’t even get this treatment covered by their insurance company. In fact the only way it can be approved is when the tinnitus sufferer is classified as a manic depressed person that the insurance might cover the claim.

Kind of frightening, you think?
Faye C.

Dear Faye,

Thank you for your question. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) has been studied for many different conditions, including tinnitus, and shows great promise. It was originally developed as an alternative to electro shock therapy for people with intractable depression and it seems to work well for this.

TMS has been under intense study for some time now. Unfortunately, the United States FDA has not approved it for any use other than depression. That is why insurance companies won’t cover the treatment. It is still being refined with several parameters under close scrutiny to develop the most effective combination of power, wavelength, pulse duration, coil design and other variables. This is similar to the development of cochlear implants for deaf people. It took decades of biomedical engineering before the process was refined enough for clinical applications.

For more information, please read our article on Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Which pain relievers will reduce tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

What pain reliever do you recommend that lessens the ringing? I remember reading it somewhere but can’t remember.

Thanks! Bonnie J.

Dear Bonnie,

Thank you for your question. It’s one that comes up frequently and deserves a complete discussion.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a pain reliever that lessens tinnitus. In fact most pain relievers have the potential of damaging hearing and causing or worsening tinnitus. We published an article on Safe and Effective Pain Management for People with Tinnitus. It lays out the dangers of pain medication and discusses how to safely reduce inflammation, which is the primary cause of tinnitus.

There is a class of benzodiazepine medications which are prescribed for anxiety. These can lower tinnitus sounds but have their own list of problems. These can be so addicting that the dosage needs to be constantly increased in order to treat the problems they were taken for. If the dosage is not increased the initial problems can come back even while taking them.

This is called Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome.

The real solution for most people with tinnitus is to use Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7. This product can reduce the ringing for most people, especially those who have tinnitus due to hearing loss or noise exposure.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Will using a hearing aid lessen my tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

If you have hearing loss and tinnitus, and you get hearing aids to help the loss of hearing, do you think it will make the ringing less audible?

Thanks,
Debby

Dear Debby,

It depends largely on the frequency of your tinnitus. If it is in the mid-range of hearing, where there are environmental sounds in the same frequency, hearing aids can be very helpful in covering up the tinnitus. If it is a high frequency, like mine, there aren’t any environmental sounds to amplify. Therefore, you will hear better but it will not mask the tinnitus. In this case you could use a tinnitus instrument, which is a hearing aid but which also generates sound at a frequency that will help mask the tinnitus. Please read our article on Masking Devices for Tinnitus.

I hope this is helpful,

Wishing you quiet times, Barry

Tinnitus Ecstasy?

Hi Barry,

The few times I’ve taken MDMA I’ve noticed that as soon as it kicked in my tinnitus stopped. Just like that. For the duration of the “trip” I experienced total quiet instead of the constant ringing in my right ear. So what I’m wondering is if anyone is working on synthesizing whatever is responsible. I mean, you can’t take MDMA every day for your tinnitus but there must be some active element/molecule or whatever that could be fashioned into something you could take every day.

Thanks, Murray

Dear Murray,

MDMA is a synthetic drug, commonly referred to as Ecstasy or XTC. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria and emotional warmth and is frequently used during parties or “Raves.” It has similar effects to those of cocaine or amphetamines. I agree with you, it would be deleterious, to say the least, to use this drug as an ongoing treatment for tinnitus…ever.

I have seen numerous references to the fact that MDMA temporarily cures tinnitus. When it is metabolized by the body, the tinnitus returns. There are other compounds that do the same thing. Lidocaine is one of them; it will totally suppress tinnitus for several hours but it always returns when the Lidocaine leaves the body.

I don’t think that there is the possibility of refining Ecstasy to something that can be taken as a permanent cure for tinnitus. They body metabolizes it in about 3-6 hours and all effects of it are gone, except for the hangover. Symptoms include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving and anxiety.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

“Guarantees” for Tinnitus, and the value of Maskers

Dear Barry,

I have had tinnitus for about 2 years now and have tried several advertised over-the-counter medications which were “guaranteed” to help, but did nothing. Also I have been wearing ear maskers for about 6 months and the same story, they do not help. So what is your reply to this situation?

Thank you, Neil J.

Dear Neil,

There are many products which claim to cure tinnitus but unfortunately there is no cure. An advertised guarantee is meaningless as market research shows only 1-2% of people will demand their money back. Also some less scrupulous competitors advertise a guarantee but never actually honor it. We don’t offer one because our product doesn’t work for everyone but it does work for most. We chose to take the more ethical position and admit that rather than make a phony guarantee.

So I believe the best course is to follow the science, not the marketing. There is solid scientific evidence that Ginkgo biloba is helpful for people with tinnitus. Arches has developed a more highly concentrated extract of Ginkgo biloba that is designed for people with tinnitus, called Ginkgo Max 26/7. Depending on the cause of your tinnitus, we see success rates of 75% to 80% in those who have tinnitus due to noise exposure and hearing loss, the largest cause, by far, of tinnitus cases.

Please see an overview of 19 clinical studies on Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. Not one of our competitors can offer this degree of scientific backing for their products.

Tinnitus maskers can be helpful for some. And as you know, they can be fairly expensive. I’ve never used one, but a number of our customers have had success using our products in tandem, in order to attack their tinnitus on several fronts. You can read more on Masking Devices for Tinnitus in our Tinnitus Research Library.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Taking the tube to stop the tinnitus train?

Dear Barry,

My mother had a “train” in her ear… She went to an ENT and he put a tube up her nose and much to her surprise the train was gone! The MD told her she was good for 25 years. Are there any ENTs out there who still use tubes? I cannot find one and would like one to try it on me. I have tinnitus in both ears, since 1990 and it is just awful. The pitch changes and I’ve even had it stop in one ear for seconds, so something happens to make it stop. if I could only figure out what that is I’d be a pretty happy camper! Know of an ENT who uses tubes?

Thanks, Irene P.

Dear Irene,

I don’t know of any ENTs who use tubes anymore because they have better treatments available. What the tubes do is help to drain the sinuses and the Eustachian tube. This is effective for those with plugged Eustachian tubes. It sounds like this might be the case with you. I advise you to see an ENT specialist for this.

Common treatments today are use of a prescription nasal spray and an antihistamine. This works for most people. For those in whom it is ineffective, the physician will then insert a tube through the ear drum and drain the Eustachian tube this way. They are able to correct the plugged Eustachian tubes in 80-90% of people with these measures. This condition is known as conductive hearing loss and it frequently causes tinnitus.

Please see our overview of hearing loss.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Occasional tinnitus turns 24/7

Hi Barry,

I am sure you have heard it all and hope I do not waste your time. I have had tinnitus for years but it has come and gone, and at times it lasts a few minutes then nothing for months. Three weeks ago it began again and is here 24/7. I am an American living in Dominican Republic. I have had CT scans with contrast, MRI just to check, currently taking gabaneuron.

I am about to try Lipoflavonoid. I’d honestly be willing to give up hearing just to deal with it. All I have read is that there is no cure.

Kind regards, Joe G.

Dear Joe,

You are correct that there is no cure for tinnitus. This doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do to reduce the noise level and annoyance. There are many therapies that help people cope better with tinnitus. Unfortunately, I don’t think Lipoflavonoid is one of them. The product was developed in the 1960’s to help control vertigo in people who had Meniere’s disease. The only clinical trial conducted on it for tinnitus showed no effect. Some doctors continue to recommend it to their tinnitus patients.

Arches Tinnitus Formula contains Ginkgo biloba extract, which has a lot of scientific backing for its effect on tinnitus. We developed a specialized, higher potency ginkgo called Ginkgo Max 26/7, which has a higher potency of the individual compounds most helpful for tinnitus. This extract was developed specifically for people with tinnitus.

Your tinnitus is considered early onset, which is a very good thing. Early onset tinnitus has a much better outcome potential than tinnitus that has been present for several years.

Please read this overview of clinical studies on Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. If you have further questions, please send them to me.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Notched Music Therapy for Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I’m going to try your 100 day 4 bottle series. Have you ever tried notched tone therapy? If so, did it help? Do you have layman’s information on VNS (Vagus Nerve Stimulation) in conjunction with tone therapy?

Thanks, James M.

Dear James,

I have never tried notched music therapy and don’t know anyone who has. It seems reasonable enough that notching out the bandwidth of a person’s tinnitus in music will stimulate the neurons around that bandwidth and provide therapy. I don’t really know the degree of tinnitus reduction notched music therapy will provide.

I’m not aware of anyone using Vagus Nerve Stimulation in conjunction with notched music. It is way too early to even try to define how successful one therapy is without combining it with another unknown therapy. I spoke with Michael Seidman, MD a couple of months ago. He is one of the leading researchers into VNS and he told me in the early clinical study of only a few people, they had about a 50% success rate and the amount of reduction varied between 30 and 80% among the successful participants. This is similar to the success rate using Arches Tinnitus Formula

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

The cure for ringing in the ears?

Hi Barry,

Is there anything that can be done to cure my ringing in my ears? It is worse at times ….than it is at other times.

Deanne

Dear Deanne,

There is no cure for tinnitus, especially from tinnitus caused by noise exposure and hearing loss. This is far and away the primary cause of tinnitus. However, there are many management methods that can help reduce the ringing. Reduction of salt intake is a big one. A related method is reduction in fast food and packaged food consumption. These products are where about 80% of the salt in the American diet comes from. It is used as a preservative.

Other techniques include stress reduction, acupuncture, biofeedback, diet modifications and others. You can search for any of these in our Tinnitus Library where we have over 120 articles on everything related to tinnitus.

Our primary product is Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7®. This product has been clinically proven to reduce tinnitus sounds for most people who use it. For those who have tinnitus due to noise exposure and hearing loss, the greatest cause of tinnitus, the success rate of Arches TF is 75% to 80%.

It does require three months to get the full effect so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a three-month supply.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Surgery, Anesthesia and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I am due to go into hospital within the next two weeks for surgery on my foot. I have put it off twice because of the fear that general anesthetic and/or painkiller/antibiotics may cause my long standing tinnitus to get worse. I am at my wits end I desperately need the operation but am so scared of any worsening of my tinnitus. Have you any suggestions?

Thank you.
Kathy

Dear Kathy,

I do have some suggestions. I’m not an expert on antibiotics and suggest you discuss with your doctor using one that is not ototoxic. Most antibiotics can be safely used these days.

I have found that the newer anesthetic, Propofol, can worsen tinnitus. It did once to mine and lasted for some time. I suggest you clearly state to your surgeon that you want to use the older anesthetics. All surgeons have these readily available. They like the newer one because patients wake up faster but, other than that, there is no good reason why they would object to using the older ones.

Opioid painkillers should not be a problem. The problem may arise with what the opioid is mixed with. I cannot take Ibuprofen without it increasing my tinnitus so I generally ask for a generic for Norco. I think it’s also referred to as Lortab. This consists of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, which is Tylenol.

Finally, I recommend taking N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) before, during and after your surgery. This is an inexpensive antioxidant that can be found in health food stores. Take about 1,000 mg twice daily. This will help prevent damage to your ears. Start taking it right away. There are no side effects from this and it is very healthy to take.

Arches Tinnitus Formula can also help protect against ototoxic medications. I would advise you to take this but you cannot use it right before surgery because it is a blood thinner. You don’t want to thin the blood during surgery. You can start using it shortly after the surgery, after the bleeding stops.

I hope this is helpful for you. I’m sure you will be fine if you follow these suggestions.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Tinnitus med cuts both ways

Hi Barry,

I heard Namenda can help with tinnitus. It appears there are lots of side effects though. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mary Ann P.

Dear Mary Ann,

There is the possibility that Namenda can help with tinnitus. However, it is also on the list of medications that can cause tinnitus. Also, as you mentioned, there are a lot of side effects. Namenda is a synthetic drug and all synthetics come with numerous side effects.

Namenda may work because it can block glutamate, an excitatory transmitter in the brain that is the chief villain in tinnitus. A natural compound that does the same is Ginkgo biloba. This is a powerful glutamate antagonist and has been shown to be helpful for tinnitus in numerous clinical trials.

We have developed an Ginkgo biloba extract that is extremely high in the compounds that block glutamate. It is the primary ingredient in Arches Tinnitus Formula, which we recommend for tinnitus. You can read more about our proprietary ginkgo extract for tinnitus, Ginkgo Max 26/7.

It requires three months to get the full effect from Arches Tinnitus Formula. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a three-month supply.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

The age-old tinnitus question

Dear Barry,

Is tinnitus curable? If so how?

Thank you,
Venkata B.

Dear Venkata,

The answer depends on what caused the tinnitus in the first place. About 75% to 80% of people with tinnitus have it due to hearing loss and/or noise exposure. This type of tinnitus is due to nerve damage in the cochlea and, unfortunately, is not curable.

The remainder is due to other medical conditions, many of which cause tinnitus. If the underlying medical condition can be cured, tinnitus often follows. There are a lot of possible medical causes of tinnitus.

If tinnitus is due to hearing loss and/or noise exposure, it is not curable but it can be treated and managed. Many therapies are available, from stress relief, to acupuncture, biofeedback, hypnotism and others. Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in clinical trials to be effective in reducing tinnitus in up to 80% of cases where it was caused by hearing loss. It can take up to three months to become fully effective so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, which is a three-month supply.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Could stem cell research help tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

Did you see the study on stem cell injections directly into the brain of people Who had strokes? The article was in the Washington Post June 3 of this year. The outcome for many of the patients was remarkable, one of the wheelchair bound patient walked again. Could this therapy be applied to people with tinnitus?

Thanks,
Carole F.

Dear Carole,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. This is a great study and I think it will eventually have definite applications for people with hearing loss and tinnitus. In fact, I think stem cell therapy is the wave of the future for curing both conditions. Unfortunately, it is a long way off. The Stanford study you refer to was an extremely small study of 18 people and was designed to test the safety of the procedure, not the effectiveness.

There have been previous studies on stem cells to restore hearing but they have not been conducted on people as yet. Prior work was conducted on laboratory mice and chickens and was successful in initiating the growth of cochlear hair cells. The next step is to integrate these stem cell-derived hair cells with the recovery of neural synapses to complete the auditory pathway. There is much work ahead and it may be 10 or 20 years before this can develop into a clinical treatment for hearing loss and tinnitus in people.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Any relief for age-related tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

I have just been given the news that due to age some hearing loss is causing my tinnitus and is beyond repair. I have tried many techniques but this hissing is horrible. I’ve tried fans, white noise. Is there any hope of relief?

Judy B.

Dear Judy,

Yes, there is hope for relief. In fact, there are many avenues you can investigate that should help lower your tinnitus.

Your doctor is correct that there is no repair for damaged hearing, whether it is damaged by noise exposure or age the damage is not repairable. However, there are many things that will aggravate tinnitus and some that will be helpful in reducing it. Without mentioning everything that is possibly helpful, here is a rundown on some of the most effective means.

Diet affects tinnitus and is an important consideration. Intake of salt will always make tinnitus worse. Also, most sugar substitutes and flavor enhancers will aggravate tinnitus. You must have a very healthy diet to manage tinnitus.

Stress is also an important trigger for tinnitus. Stress will take a level 3 tinnitus (on a scale of 10) and turn it into a level 7 or 8 overnight. It is important to manage stress.

As mentioned in these previous articles, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, biofeedback and hypnosis are all helpful in reducing tinnitus.

Tinnitus masking is usually accomplished by the sound of moving water. If you don’t notice your tinnitus when in the shower, or if it is significantly reduced, you are a good candidate for this. Sound generators sold in department stores typically have several sounds of moving water. These include bubbling brook, crashing surf, rainfall and others. I find the sound of falling rain to be very soothing and it masks my tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in clinical studies to reduce tinnitus for most people. It is especially helpful for those, such as you, whose tinnitus was caused by hearing loss. It is necessary to use it for a full three months before the full benefit can be determined. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit which includes a three month supply of the Tinnitus Formula.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Hearing Loss, Tinnitus and Valium

Dear Barry,

I’ve had tinnitus since December. I have a mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. I plan to start wearing hearing aids with a tinnitus masking feature next week. I’m also taking Valium as a treatment for tinnitus recommended by someone who had success with it. I purchased your Tinnitus Formula but did not want to start taking it due to the fact that I started to other treatments already.

My tinnitus tends to spike if I have a long day and stress is there anything I can do to reduce that tinnitus when it’s spiking? I listen to piano music with headphones and TV headphones. The Valium has helped somewhat, but I still have terrible days. Hopefully the hearing aids will help. I may try NAC as you suggested. Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Beth

Dear Beth,

I think you are doing the right things to get your tinnitus under control. I do have a couple of comments.

I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to start with the Tinnitus Formula along with other treatments. There are no counter-indications and, to my mind, being proactive and doing everything you can raises the probability of reducing the sound level. Many physicians recommend a multi-modality treatment. If you want to know which the best treatment is, you can always start cutting back on them after tinnitus is reduced. You’ll figure out what has been working and what hasn’t.

Be very careful of Valium and other benzodiazepine drugs like it. I used Valium successfully when my tinnitus was at its worst. Some people get hooked by it though and the consequences can be pretty dramatic. You have to keep increasing the dosage over time or the problem you took it for in the first place becomes worse than before. I don’t recommend you stop using it but do want you to know the downside so this doesn’t happen to you. You should only use it for a few weeks at a time, then take a break. Please read our article on Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome.

Hearing aids with a tinnitus masker is a great way to reduce the annoyance of tinnitus.

NAC won’t help to bring the tinnitus down. It will help to protect your ears from loud noise and ototoxic medications so it doesn’t get worse. I take it every day and recommend 1,000 mg twice daily. It’s quite inexpensive and a great antioxidant.

I hope this is helpful and you’re able to bring down the sound level.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Anxiety and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I just got tinnitus almost two months ago in my left ear, it’s led to a lot of anxiety and searching for answers. Not much out there except calming myself down and trying to ignore it. I started taking some Ativan .05 for anxiety mostly in the evening just to calm down. I was going through a lot of stress before and I’m thinking that is what brought it on. I will get some of your herbs to see if it can help. Are there certain foods that make it worse? Do you think the Ativan is hurting me?

Thank you,

Fay

Dear Fay,

There’s nothing wrong with taking some Atavan for a period of time to calm down. The dosage you are using is the lowest available and should be OK. Please know though, that benzodiazepine medications, such as Atavan, are pretty highly addicting and need to be increased over time. If the dosage is not increased, the very symptoms for which it was taken will come back even worse than before. These medications are supposed to be used for a few weeks only.

I’m sure you do have a lot of anxiety and this is adding to the tinnitus. Stress is the #1 aggravator of tinnitus and will turn a level 3 (on a scale of 10) into a level 7 or 8. So the advice to calm down is right on. I know it’s hard to do, especially when you just got this, but it will help. B Vitamins are important to take daily when dealing with stress. Our Stress and B-12 formulas can be very helpful when taken with our Tinnitus Formula. You can save over $40 when buying them in the Tinnitus Combo Pack.

Most people will adjust to tinnitus over time and it will become moderated. Don’t panic as it will most likely get better.

There are definitely dietary concerns. Most people with tinnitus are insulin resistant or diabetic. Going on a diet suitable for Type II diabetics will help reduce tinnitus. In fact, it may even resolve it. If this applies to you, please investigate changing your diet.

Salt will also make tinnitus worse. It raises blood pressure, constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the cochlea. If I eat a salty meal my tinnitus will get worse for several hours.

We published an article on diet and tinnitus that may be helpful for you.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

MD’s Advice: Live With It

Hi Barry,

My sister has been told by her MD that she will need to live with her tinnitus because there is nothing that can be done about it. I am very sad about that comment and believe that no doctor should ever tell a patient such negative comments about any medical problem.

Appreciate your thoughts on this.

Geraldine K.

Dear Geraldine,

I’m very sorry your sister had to hear that, especially since it is 100% wrong. Doctors are like everyone else; there are some brilliant ones and there are some real knuckleheads. This just shows her doctor is not at all versed in tinnitus causes and potential treatments.

It is true that there is no “cure” for tinnitus; at least for the type caused by hearing loss and nerve damage in the cochlea (the great majority of cases). That does not mean that nothing can be done to help reduce the noise.

There are many things that can help reduce the sound level. Arches Tinnitus Formulas have been shown in clinical trials to help reduce tinnitus for most people who have it due to hearing loss.

Other treatments involve everything from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to acupuncture, biofeedback, even Yoga. All have been shown in trials to be quite effective in reducing, but not curing, tinnitus. Diet has a huge influence on tinnitus and eating a healthy diet can go a long way towards relief.

Dr. Michael Seidman is one of the premier ENT physicians in the US and treats many tinnitus patients. He states he can help, but not cure, up to 90% of his patients. He gave us his Tinnitus Treatment Protocol which enumerates the steps he goes through in evaluating and treating his patients. This protocol is in an article you can view here.

I hope this is helpful and gives your sister some hope for a better and quieter future.

Wishing your sister quiet times,

Barry Keate

Reducing Tinnitus using a hearing aid?

Dear Barry,

I have had tinnitus for years! One doctor suggested that I get a hearing aid with “a counter rhythm sound.” Any comment on that suggestion?

Michael J.

Dear Michael,

I’m not sure what the doctor meant by “counter rhythm”. I can’t find anything about a hearing aid with this term attached. Perhaps s/he meant something with a rhythmic tone included in the device. There is a hearing aid manufacturer named Widex that makes a device which includes what are termed “fractal tones”. These tones sound something like a wind chime only they are electronically generated and repeat a never ending pattern of sounds. The device is called the Widex Zen and it has been on the market for a few years.

These wind chime-like tones are designed to stimulate the brain and remove negative emotions associated with tinnitus. It is also a hearing aid which can amplify ambient sounds to help mask the tinnitus.

There is some clinical evidence that these instruments can be helpful in reducing scores of the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI). This questionnaire shows researchers how much tinnitus affects the lives of those who have it. The clinical trial I found combined use of the hearing aid with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a relaxation program. The therapy and relaxation program are at least partly responsible for the lowering of the THI scores. The only way to tell if the instrument is effective is to run a trial without the additional therapies.

I have listened to a Widex Zen during a demonstration at a convention of Ear, Nose and Throat physicians. It was somewhat annoying to me and I don’t think I could listen to it for long. I’ve read that some people react to it as calming.

Widex Zen instruments cost about $2500 to $3000 each. Most hearing aids have a return policy of 30 days during which time you do not need to pay for them unless you decide to keep them.

If you wish to try one of these, contact an Audiologist for a trial.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Sinus Allergies and Tinnitus Relief

Dear Barry,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on people who have sinus allergies and if it causes tinnitus to be worse? I have had a runny and stopped up nose most of my life and feel it contributes to the ringing. Does your formula help with clearing the sinus cavity? Is it harmful to take OTC allergy meds and/or do they interfere with tinnitus?

Thanks for your help and I’m constantly on a quest to get some relief.
Gina L.

Dear Gina,

Sinus allergies can definitely cause tinnitus and may be at the root of yours. Our products don’t help with sinus problems.

You should see an Ear, Nose & Throat physician. Typical treatments for this include a prescription nasal spray, such as Flonase, and an antihistamine.

Some over-the-counter allergy meds can cause or worsen tinnitus. You can find out which by searching for the medication by name and the term “tinnitus”.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Stress, Tinnitus and Benzo Withdrawal

Dear Barry,

Why does stress seem to heighten my tinnitus volume?

I know it cannot harm me but when it progressively gets louder I do have an anxious attachment to it. I have been treated for TMJ. I have taken Arches for over two years.

The worst mistake I ever made was taking a physician’s advice and going on Klonopin – because it might help (my tinnitus). Now after two years I’m having a hard time getting them to help me get off of it, because it may make my symptoms even worse.

Have a great day!
Tim B.

Dear Tim,

Stress is the No.1 aggravator of tinnitus. It will take a level 3 tinnitus (on a scale of 10), and turn it into a 7 or 8 overnight. It does this by changing the body’s chemistry. Blood pressure rises, circulation is reduced and heart rate and breathing are increased. Tinnitus causes stress and stress makes tinnitus worse. It’s a vicious cycle. Please see our article about stress and tinnitus and how to deal with it.

Klonopin and other benzodiazepines can become very difficult to withdraw from. They were only meant to be used for a short period. They are addictive and, if you don’t keep increasing the dosage, they can aggravate the very condition they were taken for in the first place. Benzo’s have to be withdrawn from very slowly to avoid the worst of the withdrawal symptoms. They are typically reduced by 10% every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the person. This means a complete withdrawal may take from 20 to 40 weeks.

I hope some of this is helpful for you.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Will Stapedectomy Improve Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I have pulsatile tinnitus along with ringing in the ear and hearing loss. My ENT doctor has suggested a stapedectomy. Will this surgery take away my pulsatile tinnitus and improve my hearing loss? Is it a risky surgery? My doctor wants to do one ear at a time. any other suggestions for my pulsatile tinnitus? It’s getting in the way of my daily life.

Thank you,
Melissa W.

Dear Melissa,

Pulsatile tinnitus and the problem doctors address for a stapedectomy are two totally separate things. I believe you may have two conditions, both of which can be successfully treated.

Pulsatile tinnitus is always due to turbulent blood flow in an area close to the cochlea. There are many possible causes of this and, once the cause can be isolated, they are usually treatable. The correct specialist to see for this is a vascular surgeon who has the tools to diagnose and treat the condition.

A stapedectomy for otosclerosis is performed if the bones in the middle ear become soft and don’t transmit sound effectively to the cochlea. This most often causes tinnitus. The surgery to fix it is very routine and not risky. It has been performed tens of thousands of times. But it will not help pulsatile tinnitus.

You should ask your ENT if you have otosclerosis, the problem a stapedectomy is designed to rectify.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Life = Stress = Increased Tinnitus

Hello Barry,

My tinnitus increased when stress in my life increased. If I tilt my head to the right or the left, the tinnitus heard in the ear on that side increases. The more stress also the more the tinnitus increases. Could a muscle relaxer possibly help reduce the tinnitus?

Sandra J.

Dear Sandra,

Yes, stress is a major aggravator of tinnitus. It can take a level 3 tinnitus (on a scale of 10) and turn it into a level 7-8. It is very important to learn how to control stress in order to minimize tinnitus.

Michael Seidman, MD is one of the foremost tinnitus authorities in the US. He uses a number of therapies with his patients and has a high overall success rate in reducing the anxiety and loudness of tinnitus.

One of the treatments he sometimes uses includes Baclofen, a muscle relaxer. He combines this with Klonopin at bedtime. Dr. Seidman has had some success with this treatment protocol. However, he only uses it on patients who have a tinnitus that significantly reduces their quality of life and who have not responded to other treatments.

Baclofen has significant side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, headache, insomnia and nausea.

I prefer therapies like biofeedback and hypnotherapy to reduce stress. Biofeedback, in particular, trains the person to be able to control autonomous body functions such as stress levels, skin temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. It has been used extensively at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles and the Tinnitus Clinic at Oregon Health Sciences University for the treatment of tinnitus and has been very successful. There are no side effects and there are biofeedback facilities in every major city in the US.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Death by Tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

I’m 76 years old and have suffered with severe tinnitus, mostly in left ear, for about six years and cannot tolerate it any longer. I am on Valsartan for hypertension and afraid my tinnitus is going to cause me to die in my sleep because it keeps me from peaceful sleep.

Is there any hope of quieting my tinnitus or at least lessening it? Would psychotherapy help me tolerate the horrible sound?

Please help me if you can!!!!
Bobbi C.

Dear Bobbi,

I’m sorry this is so disturbing to you. I checked on Valsartan and it doesn’t cause or worsen tinnitus. You won’t die in your sleep because of this but I understand how your difficulty sleeping just adds to the burden.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be helpful with tinnitus. This is practiced by psychologists and is not designed to reduce tinnitus loudness but to reduce the aggravation and distress of tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been scientifically proven to reduce tinnitus for the great majority of those who use it. It is especially helpful for those with hearing loss-induced tinnitus. This can occur from exposure to noise and loud sound over time and also those who have lost hearing due to ototoxic medications. Arches will work well with CBT to help reduce the sound level as well as the distress.

It can take up to three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles. A high potency sustained release melatonin, may also prove helpful in getting to sleep without the side effects of prescription sleep aids.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Latest meds for tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

My husband has a severe form of tinnitus for seven years and can barely function. Other than benzodiazepine what are the latest meds that seem to have some relief? I read that Lamictal can cause tinnitus so I’m leery about anti-convulsives, unless others act differently in the brain and are safe.

Thanks,
Janice K.

Dear Janice,

There are no drugs that will help tinnitus in the long term. Benzodiazepines are used by many people and they help. But, they are addicting and cause a host of other problems. The dosage needs to be increased over time, and the problems they were taken for in the beginning are often worsened over long-term use. Anti-convulsives also have many serious side effects and can worsen tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in scientific studies to reduce tinnitus loudness for the great majority of people who use it. It is especially helpful for those who have tinnitus caused by hearing loss, about 85% of people with tinnitus. One Manhattan ear doctor states that among his patients with hearing loss and tinnitus, 75% to 80% have a significant reduction in the sound level.

As with all dietary supplements used for specific conditions, it can take up to three months to get the full benefit. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles. You can buy these individually but the Starter Kit is offered at a significant discount over single bottle pricing, there is a large savings in shipping costs, and you won’t accidentally run out during the critical three-month period.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

A Permanent End to Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Is there any product that is known to stop ringing in the ears?

Thanks,
Joseph A.

Dear Joseph,

There is no cure for tinnitus. That is, at least for tinnitus caused by aging, hearing loss and noise exposure, which is the great majority. Some people have tinnitus due to another medical condition, such as sinus problems and allergies, hypothyroidism, otosclerosis, TMJ dysfunction, impacted earwax, etc. In these cases treatment of the medical condition can result in dramatically reduced tinnitus or cure.

Tinnitus caused by aging, hearing loss and noise exposure is called sensorineural in nature. This indicates nerve damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. There is no cure for this condition but there are methods to reduce the sound level. Therapies such as stress reduction, biofeedback, acupuncture and sound therapy can be helpful in mitigating the anxiety and loudness of tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been found in clinical trials to reduce tinnitus loudness in the case of aging, hearing loss, etc. One Manhattan ENT states he has a 75% to 80% success rate in lowering tinnitus sounds in this group.

It takes up to three months to receive the full benefit of Arches Tinnitus Formula. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles. At the end of this period you should know how much relief you can expect to have. You can purchase individual bottles of the product but the cost is higher and you run the risk of running out during the trial period.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Cannabinoids for Tinnitus Treatment?

Hi Barry,

Are you aware of any reduction of tinnitus symptoms with the use of cannabinoids?

Thanks,
Carla G.

Dear Carla,

This is a very good question. Cannabinoids are the non-psychoactive extract of marijuana and are used for many medical conditions. These compounds do not cause the “high” that many marijuana users experience. I think there is reason to believe cannabinoids should work to reduce tinnitus. Here’s my thinking: we know that tinnitus is an epileptic-like spasm of neurons in the auditory cortex. Twenty five hundred years ago Hippocrates (the father of medicine) stated, “tinnitus is the little brother of epilepsy.” We now know that some, but not all, anti-convulsant medications can help reduce tinnitus for many people. We also know that cannabinoids have anti-convulsant action and help many epileptics reduce their seizures. So, it stands to reason, cannabinoids should help people with tinnitus.

I have not heard directly from anyone that cannabinoids helped them. So, I poked around research papers for some information. There is currently no research on cannabinoids and tinnitus in people. There is some laboratory testing the but results are not clear. One trial on laboratory rats found they possess cannabinoid receptors in the cochlear nucleus, part of the auditory pathway. After inducing tinnitus through the use of salicylate (a form of aspirin), these receptors were reduced. This shows reduction of cannabinoid receptors in the brain can influence the onset of tinnitus.

We don’t know for sure that cannabinoid will help people with tinnitus and will have to wait for more research. In the meantime, it seems reasonable to try it and see what happens. I don’t think it will hurt and it may provide some relief.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Is there a “best” solution for tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

I’ve read about all kinds of relief for tinnitus but in your opinion what is best solution? I’ve had my ears tested and they were normal.

Desperate,
Mike R.

Dear Mike,

There is no one best treatment for tinnitus. It depends on what caused the tinnitus in the first place. There are many direct or contributing causes to tinnitus. Hearing loss is the #1 cause with about 90% of tinnitus being associated with it.

You say your ears were tested and they were normal. That doesn’t tell us anything and sounds like something someone told you. If a hearing test was performed, there is an audiogram that was generated. These are very specific and detail how much hearing loss a person has and whether it is caused by sensorineural hearing loss (nerve damage) or conductive hearing loss (sinus, allergies, colds, etc). Everyone has some degree of hearing loss so normal doesn’t really say much. You can see much more about this in our article on Hearing Loss. Please review the audiogram portion.

For sensorineural hearing loss, the greatest cause of this, Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown to have a 75-80% success rate in reducing the sound levels. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a three-month supply because it takes that long to get the full benefit.

Other causes include prescription medications that are toxic to the ear (ototoxic), allergies and other sinus problems, insulin resistance and Diabetes, thyroid dysfunction. TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint) dysfunction occurs when the lower jaw is out of alignment with the skull and is a very frequent cause of tinnitus. Please see our Tinnitus Infographic.

I suggest the first thing to do is to have a complete physical checkup to see if there is any condition that could cause or contribute to your tinnitus. Then, based on that information, find a treatment that works for you. I will be happy to discuss this with you when you have more information.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Xanax and Tinnitus

Hello Barry,

I have tinnitus since May 2016. It started to go away but came back worse than ever in January 2017. I’ve been on Xanax for about 6-7 months. I was on 1.5 mg and now down to .5 mg and believe I experienced some withdraw symptoms from that.

I want to wean myself off of it completely so i plan to cut down to .25 mg and then stop. I’d like to see if the tinnitus formula would help as well as your sleep product. I have a constant hissing sound in my ear and it’s not too bad at night but I wake up to it early in the morning and it stays with me most of the day.

Best regards,
Andrew H.

Dear Andrew,

Benzodiazepine medications such as Xanax are powerful and addictive medications. Withdrawing from benzos frequently causes the symptoms for which they were originally taken to worsen. This may be why your tinnitus came back worse. You must withdraw at a very slow rate. .

It may be possible to substitute another benzodiazepine for the Xanax that has a longer half-life. Then slow withdrawal for the new substitute may be easier as it leaves the bloodstream faster. Your doctor will be able to determine if there is a good substitute with shorter half-life.

Arches Tinnitus Formula may well help during the withdrawal period. It is necessary to use this for three months minimum (four bottles) before you can gauge how effective it will be for you. Melatonin should also be helpful in keeping you asleep at night.

I hope you can find relief through a slow withdrawal and the use of Arches products.

Sincerely,
Barry Keate

Head Trauma Tinnitus

Hello Barry,

I have a severe case of tinnitus which began 15 months ago after a head injury when I hit my head while moving a large oak desk. I had many tests by a highly-regarded ENT specialist. Diagnosis was tinnitus is either being caused by the head trauma, whiplash injury or a combination of both. My tinnitus is somewhat odd. For about 11 months after the accident half of my days the tinnitus was soft while the other half it was jet plane loud 24/7.

Four months ago the tinnitus increased to where it became jet plane loud 80% of the days. I am currently on 1 mg. Clonazepam for anxiety and sleep. I’ve been on Xanax and did not have any trouble coming off of it. My Doc switched me to Clonazepam because it is longer acting. I’d like to get off of the Benzo and wanted to know if there are any problems associated with taking the Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit while still being on a Benzo?

As you know, the tinnitus causes a vicious cycle of insomnia and anxiety and after not being able to sleep for more than 3-4 hours without being awaken by the T, the lack of sleep is really your worst enemy. I’m looking for a more natural remedy. Perhaps your products can help.

Thank you,

Dave L.

Hello David,

I’m very sorry this happened to you. Head injuries and whiplash are a common cause of tinnitus. Tinnitus onset can be delayed by years due to slow deterioration of the tissues.

You can certainly take Arches Tinnitus Formula while also taking a benzodiazepine. You seem to be aware of the possible consequences of benzo medications; addiction, needing an increased dosage, and many potential side effects while withdrawing. A dosage of 1 mg Clonazepam is quite low and hopefully you can keep it there or lower.

While both head injuries and whiplash can cause tinnitus, the mechanisms of action differ. Head injuries lead to damaged neurons while whiplash causes damage to the nerve bundles that start in the upper cervical spine area. The link directly above will take you to part one of an article about these conditions. There is a link to part two at the end of the first article. Please read both.

There is pretty good evidence that chiropractic manipulation can be helpful for those with tinnitus and vertigo caused by whiplash. While I have historically been skeptical of this treatment method, the evidence is mounting as to its effectiveness. The trick is to find a chiropractor trained in upper cervical issues. Only about 2% of chiropractors are trained in this.

Arches Tinnitus Formula should be helpful for you whatever the basic cause of your tinnitus. I suggest the Starter Kit, four bottles of the Tinnitus Formula to determine total efficacy. The product helps repair damaged nerves, reduces hyper excitability in neurons and increase blood flow, thereby flooding structures with nourishment and energy.

I hope our Starter Kit is very helpful for you. Please let me know.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Can a hearing aid improve tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

My audiologist has suggested hearing aids to me because I have noise-induced hearing loss. He reckons the hearing aids will help put the natural sounds back into my brain which they are missing because I have damaged the tiny hair cells that send the signals to the brain.

I have read about this with hearing aids and that they can also add a masking sound in as well. They also reckon over time it will help reduce my tinnitus levels and hopefully promote better sleep. My audiologist will let me try different types of hearing aids to see which one is best.

Any thoughts on this matter? Personally I have now resigned myself to know that this tinnitus is here for life. I am taking 50mg of sertraline, which I got from my doctor. It helps with my anxiety levels which are getting better every day. I’m currently just learning how to sleep better.

Thanks Barry, any thoughts and suggestions would be most helpful.
Stephen W.

Dear Stephen,

I have a couple of comments. Hearing aids can be helpful if your tinnitus is in the mid-range. If it’s high frequency, like mine at 4,000 Hz, don’t expect the hearing aids to mask the tinnitus. There isn’t enough ambient sound in the high frequencies to amplify. So they won’t do much in the way of hiding tinnitus.

Hearing aids are very good and recent research has shown that they help prevent cognitive decline so I am very much for them. But, depending on the frequency of your tinnitus, they may or may not help to mask it.

Hearing aids with masking sounds should be avoided if the masking sound is white noise, unstructured sound at multiple frequencies. It is becoming obvious to researchers that white noise may mask tinnitus but, in the long run, it damages hearing, makes tinnitus worse and prevents habituation and recovery.

I would also be careful of sertraline. This is also known as Zoloft. It is an SSRI anti-depressant and tinnitus is a common side effect of the medication. It may not affect you this way. Up to 10% of people who use it report it has caused or worsened tinnitus. I hate to sound negative but I believe anti-depressants are way over-prescribed and can have serious side effects. If your tinnitus shows signs of worsening, you must stop using it immediately.

Arches Tinnitus Formula® is effective in reducing tinnitus sounds, especially for those who have it due to hearing loss. It is not addictive and has no side effects. I’ve been using it for 30 years with no negative effects and it has lowered my tinnitus by about 70%.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been scientifically proven to reduce tinnitus for the great majority of those who use it. It is especially helpful for those with hearing loss-induced tinnitus. This can occur from exposure to noise and loud sound over time and also those who have lost hearing due to ototoxic medications.

It can take up to three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles.

You may also want to use melatonin to help getting to sleep. I take 10 to 20 mg taken about 60-90 minutes before bedtime. You may want to try a smaller dose at first to see how you react to it.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can a hearing aid worsen tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I don’t know where to start… For years my husband has suffered with tinnitus and recently has had to get hearing aids for he’s going deaf. His tinnitus is getting worse because of it. I need someone to help me if possible. Any advice or assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Heather H.

Dear Heather,

This is in reply to your message to us on Arches’ Facebook page. I’m sorry your husband is having a difficult time. Hearing aids are necessary as we know that they help reduce the risks of cognitive decline. People who lack proper hearing do not get the input the brain needs to function properly. This leads to an aging brain and decline in cognitive function.

They may not help with his tinnitus though, depending on the frequency. If he has a high frequency tinnitus, like mine at 4,000 Hz, there is not enough ambient sound at that frequency to amplify so it will not mask the tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been scientifically proven to reduce tinnitus for the great majority of those who use it. It is especially helpful for those with hearing loss-induced tinnitus. This can occur from exposure to noise and loud sound over time and also those who have lost hearing due to ototoxic medications. Arches Tinnitus Formula can also help to reverse hearing loss for some people. They will not return to youthful hearing but it can make a difference.

It can take up to three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a 100 day supply of four bottles of Arches Tinnitus Formula.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can antibiotics affect Tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

I’ve had tinnitus for six years, and one of the people that it really bothers; anxiety, etc. I have been using the Tinnitus Formula for about five years with good results. My tinnitus has progressed to the point that I am not bothered by it… until now.

I developed walking pneumonia and am taking 500 mg of an antibiotic Azithromycin, plus a 5-day taper-off of methylprednisolone and Musinex. For the first time in a couple of years my tinnitus went through the roof! And I had a very miserable night. I am thinking the antibiotic is the cause. Is it? Are there any better antibiotics for tinnitus sufferers? What has been your experience?

I am deeply grateful for your experience and expertise!
John K.

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your question and your continued support for Arches Tinnitus Formula.

I’m very sorry this happened. Azithromycin does not cause tinnitus often, but it does happen. All antibiotics can cause tinnitus in some people. It will probably go down fairly soon and using Arches should protect against permanent hearing loss. You could also begin taking NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine).

NAC is inexpensive but is a great antioxidant. It also protects hearing. It can be found in most health food stores and has no side effects. I recommend 1,000 mg taken once or twice daily. It won’t upset your stomach so you can take it on an empty stomach if you wish. I would begin taking it today, if possible.

I hope this is helpful and the increase reduces to normal.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Sudden Hearing Loss… then Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I had an episode of Sudden Hearing loss last week. It self-corrected but I was given both an inner ear and oral prednisone. I have finished it and now my left ear has a significant ringing to it as if it is distressed after the episode. I have always had a bit of tinnitus but this is different.

My sister died last weekend and the episode started on Tuesday. I have no idea what to do to strengthen my body’s defenses against this repeating itself. It occurred at 530 in the morning and by 1.00 PM I could hear again. I had already seen the doctor and took my first prednisone tablet at 10.30. I think I had started correcting before I took the pill. What should I do to try and prevent a repeat? I think I overproduce adrenalin and I am hypoglycaemic so I tend to eat really well and don’t smoke or drink so its a bit of a mystery why this happened. Any comments or advice appreciated,

Thanks
Paul M.
Manitoba Canada

Dear Paul,

Great news that your hearing loss resolved so quickly. You may have a little hearing loss remaining in your left ear that is causing the tinnitus. Stress can also play a major role in worsening tinnitus. It may be that the stress of your sister’s death led to both the hearing loss and tinnitus. Stress can do anything to the body and strikes us at our weakest point.

Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7 can help reduce your tinnitus and protect your ears from future problems. A clinical study conducted years ago in France clearly showed ginkgo improved hearing in the majority of hard of hearing patients. It doesn’t restore hearing to youthful levels but is protective of hearing and can restore a degree of hearing loss.

I suggest a three-month trial (four bottles) of Arches Tinnitus Formula. This should improve your tinnitus. If so, you may be able to maintain your hearing and control the tinnitus with a reduced dosage of the product.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

The Vodka Treatment?

Hi Barry,

My tinnitus is getting worse. It is coming from the upper cervical spine, neck area, hissing sounds, not ear ringing, but hissing, sounding like a radiator. You once answered me and said that the sternocleidomastoid muscles of the neck are in spasm. Well, can you tell me why they go into spasm?

I am seeing a physical therapist and she gives me stretching exercises but that doesn’t help, at least not so far. In fact, the only thing that seems to help is vodka, but I gain weight on it, plus don’t want to get a hangover.

Are there any specialists that could give me some kind of a shot or anything? I don’t care if it limits my neck range of motion. I don’t drive, take public transportation. I have heard of physicians giving patients lidocaine. Nobody, MDs, ENTs, they don’t know anything about it, and that is making my future look pretty bleak. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Teresa S.

Dear Teresa,

I agree with your assessment. Vodka’s not likely the best treatment here. For some individuals with tinnitus, alcohol can even make it worse. Caffeine and salt are the other big offenders.

If it’s coming from the upper cervical spine, you may need to see an upper cervical chiropractor. These are specialists rather than regular chiropractors. They can be found in the phone book in any major city.

I may have thought this was muscle spasm in the past, based on what you told me. This is called somatic tinnitus. If it was spasm of the SCM muscle, a physical therapist should give massage to the area. Biofeedback can also be helpful. A TENS system delivers low voltage electricity to spasming muscles and this helps stop the spasm.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Benzo withdrawal while taking Tinnitus Formula

Hi Barry,
I’m withdrawing from Ativan and I’m almost on my third bottle of your formula. My husband just ordered 4 bottles too. You have our business but I really need an honest answer from you about the safety of taking Tinnitus Formula in withdrawal?

The Ginkgo biloba acts on glutamate and my GABA and Glutamate levels are very messed up. I don’t want to jeopardize my healing in any way. Are there other people in Benzo withdrawal taking this formula? How are they doing with it? I still have another bottle to go until I should make a decision whether it works for me or not. I notice that my tinnitus is less loud when I’m not stressed out. When I’m stressed it goes way up. Is your formula going to work for stress/benzo related tinnitus?

Thank you,
Cynthia W.

Dear Cynthia,

Ativan is what is known as a benzodiazepine medication. It provides synthetic GABA to the brain. The brain thinks it has plenty and doesn’t make any more. During withdrawal, GABA levels plummet and glutamate levels soar. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter and is responsible for the horrible side effects of withdrawal, including tinnitus.

The bilobalide component of Arches Ginkgo Max 26/7 is a glutamate antagonist. It doesn’t do anything one way or the other for GABA but does reduce the amount of glutamate.

Arches Tinnitus Formula is very safe to take while withdrawing from any benzodiazepine medication. Many people use it during withdrawal and find it helps mitigate some of the worst effects. It will not jeopardize your hearing but will be protective of it.

And yes, stress is a major trigger for tinnitus. Arches Tinnitus Formula doesn’t directly address stress but Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula does. This combination of high dosage B-Complex vitamins replaces B vitamins that are destroyed by stress and helps calm the nervous system.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Tinnitus and Cholesterol

Hi Barry,

My cardiologist put me on Atorvastatin for a stent. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative with respect to terrible tinnitus? It’s been getting worse over the years and now affecting my ability to sleep.

Thanks,
Frank M.

Dear Frank,

There are some reports that Atorvastatin can cause tinnitus. It occurs pretty rarely and only 0.1% to 1% of people develop this. It’s not a big problem.

I won’t contradict your doctor but there are other ways to reduce cholesterol. You should discuss these options with your doctor. Red Yeast Rice is used for this as it contains a natural statin drug. I don’t know the dosage to use but you can Google it to find more information.

Niacin (Vitamin B3) is also used for reducing LDL cholesterol. This was used for controlling cholesterol levels before the development of statin drugs. It is not as effective as statin drugs on reducing LDL but it has the advantages of increasing HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and decreasing triglycerides better than statin meds. It is very good for reducing the risk of heart disease.

There are several formulations of Niacin and the only one that is effective is called nicotinic acid. Normal doses are 1 to 3 grams per day. The other forms of Niacin do not contain nicotinic acid and are not effective. The downside of nicotinic acid is it produces a “flush” in the face and neck. This flush doesn’t last long and does not have any negative effects but it can be unpleasant.

You can avoid the flush effect by using a sustained release product. However, these increase the risk of liver toxicity and should be used carefully. There is a prescription form of non-flush niacin called Niaspan, which is effective and safe for the liver but it is quite expensive. An over-the-counter sustained release preparation called Slo-Niacin is similar to Niaspan. It is effective, not toxic to the liver, and less expensive than Niaspan.

Arches Tinnitus Formula should be helpful in reducing your tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Otosclerosis and Stress

Hi Barry,

I have had a Teflon piston in my right ear since the late 1980’s. I have always had tinnitus but have noted in the past few weeks it is constant throughout the day. I have found it interferes with receiving sounds such as when people are talking.

Some of the changes recently in my life… increased stress emotionally and I am on sick leave for depression from overload of various personal and work pressures. I feel like this stress may be contributing to the orchestra present in my ears. I am not sleeping well either. I am on medication Citalopram daily. What do you advise please?

Fay M.

Dear Fay,

You have had otosclerosis and a stapedectomy was performed to correct it. Otosclerosis can sometimes spread to the cochlea and cause further hearing loss and tinnitus. In your case, I believe your high stress levels have contributed to the increase in tinnitus. Stress is the #1 aggravator of tinnitus and once your stress reduces, the tinnitus should also go down.

There are a number of different ways to learn to control stress. My favorite is biofeedback. This is a therapy where electrodes are connected to your skin and stress levels are recorded. You can watch your stress go down as you think more relaxing thoughts. After practicing this for a few weeks, you gradually learn to lower your stress levels without use of the measuring equipment. People adept at this find they can reduce blood pressure, lower heart beat and slow breathing while increasing breath volume. It is very effective in reducing stress. You can read an article about my experience with biofeedback.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Levo System for tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Will the Levo system help with tinnitus?

Martha W.

Dear Martha,

I don’t know if it will help but it may. I have looked into the Levo System by Otoharmonics pretty deeply and I have some concerns. The Levo System is a device that matches a patient’s tinnitus, then feeds it back during sleep. It uses specially molded earbuds to duplicate the tinnitus sound and is only offered through licensed providers, like Audiologists.

One of my concerns is that it duplicates exactly the tinnitus sound, then replays it during sleep. Other sound therapies designed for tinnitus take out the tinnitus sound and generate everything but the tinnitus. This is called notched sound therapy and has been available for several years. By taking out the tinnitus sound, they stimulate surrounding neurons, at different frequencies, in an attempt to change the neuronal balance and reduce or eliminate tinnitus. I’m not sure how generating the exact tinnitus sound and playing it back would be helpful.

There has been only one clinical trial conducted on the Levo System and that was funded by the company. It was designed to compare the Levo System with a Bedside Sound Generator and another Levo System with random sound. The scores on the Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) came out a little better for the Levo System.

There was no follow-up to determine how long the positive effects may last. The trial lasted three months and the last time the providers communicated with the participants was at the end of the trial.

My third concern is with pricing. You cannot find a price for this without contacting the company who will refer you to a provider. Although in a review of their system, user comments (below the review) stated they paid $4500-$5000.

If you try this system, I will appreciate some feedback about how well it reduced your tinnitus. In the meantime, Arches Tinnitus Formula costs a fraction of the Levo System and is effective for 75% to 80% of those who have hearing loss-related tinnitus, which is the great majority of patients.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Going under with tinnitus

Good Morning Barry,

Thank you for your wonderful emails regarding tinnitus. I hope all has been well with you, since I emailed you a couple of years ago.

I am heading into an ablation procedure this coming Tuesday and wondered if the anesthetic used might worsen my tinnitus. The only thing that I take to help me relieve my tinnitus is lorazepam. An ablation process is when the Cardio Electrophysiologist sends thin strands with zappers and a camera through the arteries to the heart, to zap areas and reduce SVT (rapid heart beat) and also possibly to see if A-Fibs can be corrected while in there.

Many thanks, Barry, for any info you can send my way.

All the best,
Alec
Dorset, Vermont

Dear Alec,

You didn’t mention if you will receive a local or general anesthetic so I assume you’re talking about general anesthesia where you are made unconscious.

All anesthetics have the potential to cause tinnitus but the incidence is not high. The most popular general anesthetic in use today is Propofol. One reason for its popularity is the patient wakes quickly and does not need to spend a lot of time in recovery. Propofol lists tinnitus as a rare side effect, occurring in 0.1% to 1% of patients who use it.

A good way to make certain you do not develop tinnitus is to take N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC). This is an inexpensive anti-oxidant that helps prevent ototoxicity due to medications. I recommend 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day, taken in two equal doses. Start today if possible. Continue for at least one week after the ablation. NAC can be found in most health food stores. You cannot take too much of it and there are no side effects.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Ibuprofen affecting her tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I have to take medications for osteoporosis, arthritis and sciatica. I’ve been taking Ibuprofen which I just found out was making my tinnitus worse. I do need to take something for a headache, which I think is through the Tinnitus. Can you recommend something. I have had a Tylenol 2 pill but wasn’t too keen on it.

Regards,
Patricia C.

Dear Patricia,

The subject of pain relief in those who have tinnitus is very difficult. Essentially, all over-the-counter pain medications can cause tinnitus. This doesn’t mean everyone using them will have tinnitus or have theirs worsened, but the risk is there. Some are much more likely to cause or worsen tinnitus than others.

Fortunately, I don’t have chronic pain. When I do need a pain reliever, Tylenol is my choice. Tylenol can damage to the liver though so extreme care must be taken to keep the dose well below the maximum daily amount listed on the label. Overuse of Tylenol leads to liver poisoning, hospitalization and possible death.

Pain is caused by inflammation. There are many strategies to reduce inflammation without the use of pain medication. Omego-3 fish oils are at the top of the list. There are dietary guidelines also for reducing inflammation. Reducing inflammation will reduce the pain.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Anesthesia med for Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Can you update me on the status of using ketamine otic drops for tinnitus?

Thanks,
Dennis S.

Dear Dennis,

Ketamine is a prescription anesthetic that is used in surgeries. It was developed in the 1960’s and is used in field hospitals for the US Army. During the 1970’s and 80’s it was a popular recreational drug in dance raves due to its hallucinogenic, euphoric and trance-like effects taken at lower dosage than when used for anesthesia.

The derivative of ketamine, esketamine has been proven effective at treating long-term depression. The FDA has approved a ketamine-based nasal spray for depression. It has been found to be fast-acting, taking effect in as little as 4 hours. Current SSRI antidepressants can take several weeks to become effective. Esketamine may be a ground-breaking new medication for depression. However, some people experience cognitive, liver and bladder complications. New trials will address these issues and determine optimal dosage.

One of the actions of ketamine is to act as an NMDA receptor antagonist. The NMDA receptor is responsible for glutamate, the excitatory neurotransmitter. This reduces glutamate and increases GABA. Logically, this would be very helpful for tinnitus. But clinical trials have been inconclusive.

Auris Medical, a Swiss company, has conducted clinical studies with a ketamine metabolite designated AM-101. Studies were disappointing. A newer study that used the ketamine metabolite, AM-111 shows more promise. The study showed it is effective in reducing tinnitus if applied within 48 hours of acoustic trauma. The drug is injected through the eardrum into the middle ear. This procedure is called transtympanic perfusion. The drug sits in the middle ear and diffuses into the cochlea.

There have been numerous anecdotal reports of people having their tinnitus reduced using ketamine. However, it won’t be widely available for tinnitus until clinical studies prove effectiveness, safety and effective dosage. It will be a long road ahead for a medical solution for tinnitus.

In the meantime, Ginkgo biloba extract has been shown in numerous clinical trials to be effective in reducing long-standing tinnitus. Arches Tinnitus Formula uses Ginkgo Max 26/7®, the most potent ginkgo extract found anywhere in the world. It is especially helpful for the great majority of people who have tinnitus due to noise exposure or age-related hearing loss. A prominent Manhattan ENT states he has a 75% to 80% success rate using Arches Tinnitus Formula for those patients.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can cannabis improve tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I would like to know what you think about using “cannabis” to quiet tinnitus. Pennsylvania just made it legal for medical use and I have been told it really helps.

Thanks,
Tom A.
Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Tom,

This is a difficult question to answer because there has been minimal clinical studies on the use of medical marijuana and tinnitus. Many people in the industry report that there is a 50:50 mix of people who say it helps and those who say it makes tinnitus worse.

Marijuana is typically dominated by two strains; THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the one that gives the familiar “high” that pot is known for. CBD has no psychoactive effects and is used for many health benefits ascribed to pot.

My feeling is this: We know marijuana, especially CBD, helps those with epilepsy. That is one of the primary reasons for the push to legalize it. Hippocrates (the father of medicine) stated 2500 years ago, “Tinnitus is the little brother of epilepsy.” We know today that tinnitus is an epileptic-like convulsion in the auditory cortex. CBD oil greatly calms epilepsy and I believe it should be helpful for tinnitus as well.

However, some clinical studies conducted on laboratory mice found that marijuana increased hyperactivity in the auditory cortex causing tinnitus. We don’t know the ratio of THC to CBD in these trials and I think it’s the THC responsible for the increase.

So, go ahead and try it. But I would look for a strain that is highest in CBD and lowest in THC.

I would love to hear from you again with the results of your trial.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Can a hearing aid improve tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

My audiologist has suggested hearing aids to me because I have noise-induced hearing loss. He reckons the hearing aids will help put the natural sounds back into my brain which they are missing because I have damaged the tiny hair cells that send the signals to the brain.

I have read about this with hearing aids and that they can also add a masking sound in as well. They also reckon over time it will help reduce my tinnitus levels and hopefully promote better sleep. My audiologist will let me try different types of hearing aids to see which one is best.

Any thoughts on this matter? Personally I have now resigned myself to know that this tinnitus is here for life. I am taking 50mg of sertraline, which I got from my doctor. It helps with my anxiety levels which are getting better every day. I’m currently just learning how to sleep better.

Thanks Barry, any thoughts and suggestions would be most helpful.
Stephen W.

Dear Stephen,

I have a couple of comments. Hearing aids can be helpful if your tinnitus is in the mid-range. If it’s high frequency, like mine at 4,000 Hz, don’t expect the hearing aids to mask the tinnitus. There isn’t enough ambient sound in the high frequencies to amplify. So they won’t do much in the way of hiding tinnitus.

Hearing aids are very good and recent research has shown that they help prevent cognitive decline so I am very much for them. But, depending on the frequency of your tinnitus, they may or may not help to mask it.

Hearing aids with masking sounds should be avoided if the masking sound is white noise, unstructured sound at multiple frequencies. It is becoming obvious to researchers that white noise may mask tinnitus but, in the long run, it damages hearing, makes tinnitus worse and prevents habituation and recovery.

I would also be careful of sertraline. This is also known as Zoloft. It is an SSRI anti-depressant and tinnitus is a common side effect of the medication. It may not affect you this way. Up to 10% of people who use it report it has caused or worsened tinnitus. I hate to sound negative but I believe anti-depressants are way over-prescribed and can have serious side effects. If your tinnitus shows signs of worsening, you must stop using it immediately.

Arches Tinnitus Formula® is effective in reducing tinnitus sounds, especially for those who have it due to hearing loss. It is not addictive and has no side effects. I’ve been using it for 30 years with no negative effects and it has lowered my tinnitus by about 70%.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been scientifically proven to reduce tinnitus for the great majority of those who use it. It is especially helpful for those with hearing loss-induced tinnitus. This can occur from exposure to noise and loud sound over time and also those who have lost hearing due to ototoxic medications.

It can take up to three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles.

You may also want to use melatonin to help getting to sleep. I take 10 to 20 mg taken about 60-90 minutes before bedtime. You may want to try a smaller dose at first to see how you react to it.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate


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