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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - August 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 Get answers right now to your questions on tinnitus.

Search our Tinnitus Library Center or FAQs

Hi Barry,

I just received your e-mail newsletter re: tinnitus. It seems to me that the ringing is more in my head than in my ears. I too have been to an ENT specialist with no success. Is there a difference between the ringing in the ears versus ringing in the head?

Pauline R.

Dear Pauline;

People experience tinnitus in a variety of ways. Many people describe it as a ringing in the head rather than the ears. This is commonly referred to as central tinnitus rather than peripheral tinnitus. There is really no difference in the cause(s) of the tinnitus or therapies that may be helpful for it.

Many researchers believe that tinnitus commonly begins in the cochlea, then appears to move to the auditory nerve and finally the auditory cortex in the brain. There seems to be an increase in electrical activity in the auditory cortex for everyone that has tinnitus. For this reason, Dr. Abraham Shulman at the Martha Entenmann Tinnitus Center in Brooklyn, NY has developed a medical treatment for tinnitus using Neurontin and Klonopin. Neurontin (generic name gabapentin) activates the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA receptors are inhibitory neurotransmitters that reduce electrical activity. He has been having a good deal of success with this treatment, however about 30% of his patients cannot tolerate the Neurontin and must discontinue treatment. You can read his clinical report on this treatment method at Brain Study.

Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula is also very effective in reducing symptoms of central tinnitus. It does not have the side effects of Neurontin and is quite inexpensive. We have over 600 ENTs in the US who refer their tinnitus patients to us. You must have visited one whom we have not as yet met. Michael Seidman, MD, a prominent ENT and one of the top three tinnitus specialists in the US, endorses our products and refers many of his tinnitus patients to us. He states that 10% of these patients have a complete reduction in sound levels, 10% have no change, and 80% have a reduction which varies by the individual. You can find out more about Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula from this website.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Hello Barry,

I am a young, fit, twenty-three year old, who feels as though his life is being destroyed by tinnitus. I am displaying symptoms that I haven't ever read about before, and I am sure that it is connected to my ear problems. First, I have been suffering from tinnitus for the last six years. I used to be a drummer in a band, so fair enough, my ears couldn't take it, I developed bad tinnitus, and I could live with that. I could even live with having to wear ear plugs every time I wanted to go night clubbing. BUT, my whole body now seems to be affected by it.

My face is experiencing weird feelings. The muscles in my face (especially my forehead and around the eyes) feel very tense and can cause a lot of pain. My head and face always seems to be bright red. I feel like there is a lead weight in my head. My arms and legs also seem to be feeling weird. I feel as though all my joints are ringing just like my ears.

Have you heard of anything like this before? Have you heard of anything new on the cure front? Is there anyone out there still looking for remedies to cure tinnitus?

Thanks,

Phil

Dear Phil;

These are very strange symptoms and may indicate serious neurological problems. I recommend you have a complete physical exam and get to the bottom of what may be wrong.

Having said that, it may be you are under severe stress and the stress is causing these reactions. Stress takes a variety of forms and always seems to attack us at our weakest point. It is possible that the stress from tinnitus has given you these other conditions. If that is so, you should take steps to control your stress levels and the other symptoms will most likely recede. There are many ways to control stress; vigorous exercise is one of the best. Brisk walking, aerobic exercise, martial arts, meditation, hypnotherapy and biofeedback have all been proven to be effective in lowering stress levels.

With your doctor's approval, you may want to try a prescription tranquilizer and see if it lowers the tinnitus and the other symptoms. If it lowers your other symptoms, I think there’s a good likelihood they may be stress involved. When I first experienced an onslaught if tinnitus, I was having some strange and scary auditory symptoms. It really panicked me. I remember a doctor gave me 10 mg of Valium and my entire nervous system slowed down, the auditory symptoms went away and the tinnitus reduced. It was a real wake-up call for me because, for the first time, I realized what an important and destructive role stress plays in tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formulas are very helpful for reducing tinnitus symptoms in most people. Arches Tinnitus Stress Formula is specifically formulated to help the body deal with stress. You can find out more about these products on our website at Product Information.

Another product you may want to try is GABA supplements. These can be found in a health food store. GABA stands for gamma-amino-butyric acid and is a major neurotransmitter in the brain. It is a neurotransmitter that slows electrical activity in the auditory cortex. SPECT and MRI scans of the brain have shown people with tinnitus have an elevated level of electrical stimulation and slowing this can be helpful for tinnitus.

However, I still recommend you have a complete physical to rule out other causes of these symptoms.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate