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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - June 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 Send your question to:  Ask Barry

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Hi Barry.

Do you know the remedies of Dr. Leslie Brom (T-Gone ), from South Africa?

Pedro López

Dear Pedro;

Yes, we’re familiar with Dr. Leslie Brom and his homeopathic remedies. Many of our customers have tried his products with no success. There is another homeopathic product sold in the United States called RingStop.

Homeopathy is a branch of western medicine dating from the 19th century. The basic premise is “Like cures like”, meaning that if you take a poison that will make you sick and dilute it to the point there is barely any poison left, it will cure you of the same sickness. This sounds deceptively similar to the modern method of immunization, where they take an inactive version of a disease and inoculate a person with it, stimulating the immune system to ward off the real disease when it attacks.

There may be applications for this but I don’t believe tinnitus is one of them. Tinnitus is not a disease in itself but a symptom of damage that has already occurred. You cannot inoculate to repair damaged nerve cells. Even Dr. Brom does not claim success with noise induced tinnitus. Since the American Tinnitus Association states that 75% of all tinnitus is noise induced, Dr. Brom is only claiming to help a very small percentage of tinnitus sufferers.

Perhaps the most telling point about homeopathy and tinnitus is the fact that there is no clinical evidence to support any homeopathic claims. There has never been a clinical study performed on tinnitus patients with homeopathic remedies. The reason for this is there is no researcher interested in doing the study.

The way clinical studies begin is when a doctor or other health care practitioner says, “I tried this and it worked”. Then perhaps someone else says the same thing. These findings are called anecdotal because they have no clinical relevance. However, if there are enough anecdotal reports of something working, one of these doctors will say, “Let’s do a clinical trial and find out”. The suggestion here is that there hasn’t been any anecdotal reports on homeopathy helping people to interest a researcher in conducting a study, hence, no clinical studies.

Compare this with the clinical evidence in support of the components used in Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula™. Pharmaceutical-grade ginkgo biloba extract has gone through no less than 40 clinical trials, the majority of which report that it is helpful for people with tinnitus. The evidence is so strong that the German Commission E, responsible for regulating and approving phytomedicinals in Germany, formally endorses the use of Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of tinnitus.

The story is similar with zinc. There have been many clinical trials showing zinc to be helpful for tinnitus. In the most recent one, sent in our April Newsletter, 82% of tinnitus patients treated with 50 mg of zinc daily, improved their condition.

There is no comparison between Arches Tinnitus Formulas and homeopathic treatments. The real reason homeopathy seems so visible in the tinnitus marketplace is that it is extremely inexpensive to manufacture. The ingredients aren’t much more than mineral salts. There is a tremendous mark-up in price which allows for a large advertising budgets. This does not relate in any way to the true efficacy of the products.

Sincerely,

Barry Keate

Dear Barry

Does traveling on a plane affect the condition of tinnitus?

Thank You, Blanqui Rosbach

Hi Blanqui;

Air travel can affect tinnitus. There are two components that can be affected. The most obvious is the sound level. I recommend purchasing soft foam ear plugs prior to any airplane trip. These can be found in any grocery store or pharmacy.

Sometimes the pressure differential can also affect tinnitus. Some people say their tinnitus is either helped or aggravated by a change in altitude. This is not so in my case but does happen. If you are sensitive to pressure changes, I recommend seeing your ENT before the trip and asking what can be done.

Sincerely,

Barry Keate