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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - June 2005

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:

Excedrin and tinnitus?

Dear Barry, I have what would be known as Pulsatile Tinnitus. I only have it bad every morning and sometimes at night The only thing that has ever worked for me is Excedrin. I don't know why because the caffeine should make it worse. However, immediately after taking it my sounds disappear. My only concern is that i have been taking this for too long. My doctors say it should be ok if it works and it definitely does.


Dear Linda; Excedrin is comprised of acetaminophen (mostly), aspirin and caffeine. Fortunately, acetaminophen is the one pain reliever that does not cause or aggravate tinnitus. If it helps, I would continue using it.

It may be the caffeine that is causing the reduction. Pulsatile tinnitus is generally the result of turbulent blood flow. Caffeine has the effect of restricting blood flow and it may be that this smoothes out the flow and reduces the pulsating symptom. You may want to try straight caffeine and see if it does the same thing.

Dr. Seidman states that he believes our products should be helpful for pulsatile tinnitus. Our Relief Formula has the opposite of caffeine in that it increases blood flow. This may smooth it out as well.

There are many causes of pulsatile tinnitus that can be treated in many cases. The following is what I generally send to people with this condition:

The condition you are experiencing is known as pulsatile tinnitus. It is generally associated with circulatory problems. There can be many causes for pulsatile tinnitus and there are treatments for it. Causes include: 1 – Glomus Tumor. These are benign tumors in or slightly below the ear. They can be surgically removed.

2 – Benign Intracranial Hypertension(BIH). An increase in the pressure of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. The majority of these patients are young, overweight women. Weight loss and diuretics are generally very helpful.

3 – Atherosclerotic Carotid Artery Disease. Plaque build-up in the carotid arteries results in turbulent blood flow. This usually occurs in older patients with a history of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and smoking. The condition can be helped with medication.

4 – Twisted arteries. This condition creates turbulent blood flow. Surgery can be helpful with this condition.

5 – Intracranial Vascular Lesions. Lesions and aneurysms of the blood vessels in the brain. These are rare but do occur. They can be treated by a neuro-radiologist.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Atmospheric changes... Dear Barry, Can the pressure in the atmosphere effect your ears? It's just for a long time I have noticed whether the high winds are cold or warm my tinnitus, seems to get worse. It unsettles my ears and makes the hiss in my ears worse. More high pitched. Once I noticed after a thunderstorm my ears quieted down. In fact for a couple of days after my ears felt normal with no sounds. It was like I had never had tinnitus. So I wonder if winds can change the pressure of the atmosphere and have an effect on your ears?

All the best

Carole Anderson

Dear Carole, I apologize for the delay in answering your question. I was out of the office last week and playing serious catch-up this week.

Barometric changes are a common cause of worsening tinnitus. Increases in barometric pressure, such as landing in an airplane or high winds, can increase tinnitus. This is generally a short-term situation and tinnitus will gradually return to it’s previous level.

The middle ear is constantly striving to maintain equal pressure with the outside environment. During low pressure situations, like a thunderstorm or take-off in an airplane, air is released through the eustachian tube, which acts like a two way vent. Changing to high pressure, like landing in an airplane, the process is reversed and air flows inward. This is more difficult as the inward flow of air is resisted by the eustachian tube. If there are sinus or allergy problems, the situation can become more aggravated.

Use of a decongestant or nasal spray should help alleviate the situation. Earplugs can help slow the rate of pressure changes and allow the eustachian tube to adjust more easily.

Wishing your quiet times, Barry Keate

No success with TRF? I have tried your Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula for 4 months now and I have not noticed any change in my tinnitus. This is the second time I have tried your product in two years and it has not done anything for me either time. I have had tinnitus for a number of years now and it keeps getting worse. I figured I would try your formulas again and still no results. so this is a story of your formula not working. Why not post this on your website along with all your success stories?

Don Foote

Dear Don; I’m sorry our products weren’t more helpful for you. They don’t work for everyone and we don’t claim they do. The first time you used our Relief Formula, you only continued for 2 ½ months, which may not have been long enough. More recently, you’ve been using it for close to three months and still may have some product left. I urge you to continue if you have more. Dr. Seidman is telling his patients to use it for 3-4 months as he has seen results past the three month time frame.

For those people who do not see benefit using our products, we try to refer them to other treatments that may be helpful. There are really quite a lot of things to try, from masking and Tinnitus Retraining Therapy to diet and newly developing therapies such as rTMS.

Dr. Seidman runs into this problem himself, even after exhausting all his treatment options and using our products. When this happens, he quite frequently refers these patients to some of his colleagues at the Henry Ford Center for Integrative Medicine for treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). We have invited the acupuncturist at this center to write an article on TCM and tinnitus for our newsletter. Hopefully, she will agree and we will have a new alternative to offer soon.

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.