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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - April 2004

Do you have questions about tinnitus, our products or specific treatments? Ask Barry. Arches President Barry Keate will select the most representative questions each month publication. Regardless all questions will receive a personal reply from Barry.

ASK BARRY Tinnitus expert, Barry Keate, answers your questions about Tinnitus Search our Tinnitus Library Center or FAQs

NOTE: Ask Barry is pleased to be able to answer your questions based upon the information we have available. Our answers to your email inquiries are not substitutes for a physician's advice nor are they reviewed by a physician. If you are under a physician's care, please share with your doctor any suggestions you have received from Ask Barry.

This Month's Questions:


I've had tinnitus for 7 months. I have just ordered your tinnitus relief formula. I can't wait to get it!

My Question: Why does my tinnitus ring at different tone levels (a "loud" high pitch to a "low" high pitch)? The change may last for a few days to a few weeks. The pitch changes while I am sleeping. I wake up to a different tone level. Does diet have something to do with it. Is a diet rich in carbohydrates recommended? Thank you.

Kelly Strauss

Dear Kelly,

Thank you for your message and your order. I apologize for not replying sooner; we’ve been at an Audiology convention since last week and I’m trying to catch up.

If I take your meaning correctly, the frequency of your tinnitus changes over time, correct? Loudness changes are very common however most people, myself included, have a constant tone that does not change frequency.

Frequency changes are indicative of possible jaw disorders or neuromuscular problems. When the lower jaw is out of alignment with the skull, it is called Temporo-Manidbular Joint dysfunction (TMJ). If this is the case, there are other treatments that can be helpful. TMJ specialists come out of the dental profession and they have painless and non-invasive treatments that can be very helpful for tinnitus. You can find a specialist in your area by going to the website of the Academy of Craniofacial Pain at There is a referral area there and you can follow the links to find a specialist near you.

A TMJ specialist will be able to tell you whether you do or do not suffer from TMJ. If you do, they’ll also tell you how serious it is and recommend treatment therapies. The first thing they will tell you is to learn to sleep on your back. This will relieve the strain on the TM joint and help it realign itself.

If you do not have TMJ, it is possible you have a neuromuscular problem. These conditions can be addressed through physical rehab. There are many good Neuromuscular clinics in the country. They are generally associated with area hospitals. You can find one by calling your local hospital and asking for a referral.

A diet rich in carbohydrates is not recommended, especially highly refined carbohydrates. This type of diet can lead to sugar imbalances and eventually diabetes. Dr. Seidman recommends that people with tinnitus adhere to a rigid diet based on all food groups and that they reduce or eliminate their use of salt, simple sugars, high fat, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. We have found that salt is perhaps the largest aggravator of tinnitus. Many people tell us once the reduce salt, their tinnitus improves and after a salty meal, their tinnitus increases. I know if I have a salty dinner, my ears let me know before I go to bed that I overdid it.

I hope this is helpful and you can reduce your sound levels.


Barry Keate


I read your newsletter for the first time today and I glad to know that I'm not alone with this condition . I have had tinnitus in my left ear for about twenty five or so years sometimes I notice it a great deal and other times I don't. My question is can you have tinnitus in one ear for a number of years and then have it start in the other ear or is it just that it is so bad in one it sounds like it's in both,sometimes it get's to be to much, Thank you for listening.

Bill in Kansas

Dear Bill;

Thank you for your message. Tinnitus does not spread like an infection. What is most likely happening is that the damage to your left ear is more severe than in the right ear. However, there was probably some damage to the right ear as well and, as you get older, this damage is slowly making itself known.

The same thing happened to me. I’ve had severe tinnitus in my right ear for over 30 years but none in the left ear. About 15 years ago I noticed some tinnitus in my left ear. It’s not as loud as the right ear, but it’s there all the same.

Our products and a good antioxidant can be very helpful for both ears.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate