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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - August 2003

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 Get answers right now to your questions on tinnitus

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Hi Barry,

I am a person who has had tinnitus as long as I can remember. It started out with just hearing my heartbeat and as I got older other noises appeared-hissing and another one that is hard to describe. From time to time I get a drum roll sound that really bothers me. About 2 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with otosclerosis. Are the two related? And could the drum/percussion sound be those tiny bones going into spasms? I know there is an operation for otosclerosis. My dad had it and it went real bad so he was deaf in one ear most of my life. Like him I have opted for a hearing aide in one ear. Are there things that make the otosclerosis progress faster or anything I can do to slow the progression?

Sincerely, Wendy

Dear Wendy;

I forwarded your message to Dr. Seidman and received the following reply:

Hi Barry,

Absolutely positively, many patients with Otosclerosis complain of tinnitus (not all but many). Sodium flouride helps some (very occasionally, ie rarely) and surgery resolves most of their tinnitus most of the time. Have her travel to Michigan, we can offer surgery (if she has enough hearing loss) and she understands the risks, benefits and alternatives. I am doing the most of this type of surgery in the country and we have some of the best results in the world.

Michael Seidman, MD

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Editor's note: Michael Seidman is Co-Director of the Tinnitus Center for the Henry Ford Healthcare System located in Michigan. He is considered one of the top tinnitus specialists in the country. He prescribes Arches Tinnitus Formulas to many of his patients.

Editor's Note: Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors or SSRIs are a class of anitdepressants which target the serotonin levels in the brain. The most prescribed SSRIs are Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Effexor.

Hi Barry,

I recently ordered your Tinnitus Relief Formula and starting taking the 4 capsules a day. I take glucophage for diabetes and lipitor for high cholesterol and prozac for depression. The depression started 4 years ago when the tinnitus appeared! A few days later, I started to see a new doctor and she told me to stop taking the capsules immediately. She said the interaction between gingko biloba (or any herbal drug) and SSRIs could be deadly. Disappointed, of course, but I did stop taking the TRF. Do you have any feedback on this?

Thank you very much.


Hi Delilah,

Yes I do have some feedback. Interference with SSRIs is simply not true. We have a few thousand people who take our products and anti-depressants, as well as the other medications you’re taking, with no ill effects.

The very fact she said ANY herbal medication indicates that she considers them to be all the same. She doesn’t differentiate between say ephedrine and ginkgo; ephedrine being the one that kills athletes and ginkgo being the most healthy, beneficial herb you can take, for many reasons. I think your doctor is talking about something for which she has absolutely no knowledge whatsoever.

Attached is a copy of the German Commission E report on Ginkgo biloba. They clearly state on Page 2 that there are no known interactions between Ginkgo biloba and any drug. The Commission E is a division of the German Federal Health Administration and is comprised of doctors, scientists and researchers who are dedicated to finding the truth about herbal medicinals.

By the way, one of the effects of ginkgo is to act as a mild anti-depressant. It’s not a strong one like Prozac but it is effective and natural, with no side effects.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate