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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - February 2008

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 Send your question to:  Ask Barry

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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:

Sugar & Tinnitus

This is my second question for you on tinnitus and I appreciated your prompt response to my last question. This question is concerning sugar. I have been to several ENT doctors and they all tell me to watch my salt, but none seem to think that sugar will aggravate my tinnitus. Can you tell me what your studies have found out regarding sugar triggering tinnitus?

Thank you! Joyce R.

Hi Joyce,

Salt seems to be the biggest problem for those with tinnitus but sugar definitely has an effect. Researchers in Brazil found the great majority of people with tinnitus also have hyperinsulinemia. This is a condition where the body becomes less sensitive to insulin and is the first step in the long, slippery slope towards Type II Diabetes. They placed these patients on a diet suitable for diabetics and the great majority improved. You can read an article about sugar metmetabolsim and tinnitus in our Tinnitus Library.

There is a quandary regarding sugar intake for those with tinnitus. They should not consume large amounts of it due to the above mentioned relationship. However, sugar substitutes are, in many ways, worse. Aspartame (e.g. Equal), the sugar substitute used in diet colas, is very harmful and can cause many neurodegenerative conditions, including tinnitus. Xylitol and Stevia are good sugar substitutes. A discussion of this can be viewed in a previous Ask Barry - March of 2005.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

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Did aspirin make her tinnitus worse?


Dear Barry,

I have had tinnitus for five years. Until recently, it was a steady sound in both ears, louder in the left. I was able to habituate to the sound over time. Recently, everything has changed. I had a bad bout of extreme back pain for which I took aspirin for one day. I took about 7 or 8 350 mg. tablets during that one day. Four days later, I noticed a second sound in my left ear. I experienced a lot of anxiety after this and my right ear has become louder than it was also. The doctor I saw thought it was probably not the aspirin but the long bout with back pain followed by stress and anxiety. I am trying hard to put it out of my mind and not be anxious but am finding it harder this time. Do you have any advice for me? Do you think your product would be helpful to my circumstance? I am new to your website and have just started to get your newsletter which I love and the articles are wonderful. Thank you for your time.


Sincerely, Peggy Dale

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for your message. I agree with your doctor. You took a lot of aspirin and it may have made your tinnitus temporarily louder and created the new sound. However, this should subside in a few days. It takes a lot of aspirin for a very long time to make tinnitus permanently louder and one day won't do that.

I know that I can take two aspirin of 325 mg each without fear. If I take a third one, my tinnitus will get louder and stay there for at least a day. But it always goes back down. I believe yours will also.

The stress and anxiety caused by the increase in tinnitus and also your back pain are the cause of the increase, I'm sure. Once you can reduce the stress, the tinnitus will improve. There are a lot of things you can do to reduce stress. A healthy diet, low on salt, sugar, caffeine and no diet drinks, and regular vigorous exercise are perhaps the best ways. There are articles on Diet and Tinnitus and Stress and Tinnitus in our Tinnitus Library that have important ideas for better health, lower stress and reduced tinnitus symptoms.

If all else fails, ask your doctor for a prescription for anti-anxiety medication such as Xanax or Klonopin. These cannot be taken indefinitely but are good for reducing stress short-term.

And yes, I think Arches Tinnitus Formulas can significantly help reduce the sound level. It takes time so please remember you must use Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula® for three months (4 bottles) before determining how effective it will be.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

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Help for the sleep deprived


Barry,

In a recent reply to a subscriber that has had difficulty sleeping I noticed you didn’t mention sound therapy. I have seen an ENT in Phoenix who specializes in tinnitus, among other issues. He prescribed sound therapy which is basically a low level background white noise which blends in with and substantially reduces the impact of the tinnitus (at least in my left ear).


Over the period of several months this seemed to significantly reduce my issue, and I notice a change for the worse if I skip it for a week or two. This can be particularly helpful at night when trying to sleep, just playing a CD in the bedroom with this noise will somewhat cancel out the tinnitus and let you get to sleep much faster. Even sound from a “therapy” alarm clock like Homedics sells helps quite a bit, you can listen to waterfalls or rain, etc. I also take the TRF regularly. Hope this helps the sleep deprived out there.

Carl Geisert

Hi Carl,

Thanks for your note. I apologize for not discussing that in my response. I’m a big fan of sound therapy and should have mentioned it. An early breakthrough in tinnitus masking came when it was recognized that the sound of moving water effectively masked tinnitus for many people. You can read an article on tinnitus masking in our Tinnitus Library.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

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.