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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - June 2012

Do you have questions about tinnitus, our products or specific treatments? Ask Barry. Arches President Barry Keate will select the most representative and interesting questions each month. All questions 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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June 2012 Questions:

Taking Tinnitus Treatment to the Next Level

Hi Barry,

I want to take my treatment of my tinnitus to the next level. So far I have good results with your tinnitus formula. I have been on and off it since around 2004. In the last two years I have reduced or gone off the formula and sometimes I am good for a few months, sometimes not and I reorder. I just ordered the Combo Pack for the first time and am hoping for some improvement. Also helpful has been GABA, which I take 1200 mg twice daily. That has had a bad affect on weight. Diazepam has been helpful for mood control and sleep.

Exercise seems to worsen my tinnitus. Also, I think allergies and my sinuses play a large part.

I want to try to add something to see if I can reduce this some more to get back some of my motivation and drive for exercise. The two things I am looking at are acupuncture or hypnosis. I have read articles from your library and they both seem to have their good and bad points. Basically, without going into too much detail, which would you recommend that I try first?

Thank you! John W.

Dear John,

Your question gave me pause; I really had to think about it. No one has asked me to compare acupuncture and hypnotism and I have not thought about a comparison. I think I have something that may help clarify the question.

I'm very happy you've had good results with our products. I do believe that using them consistently will be more effective. There's no reason to stop unless it's for economic reasons. Arches Tinnitus Formula is positively healthy and positive for many reasons; it is a strong antioxidant, an antidepressant and is very heart healthy.

You may want to try L-Theanine instead of GABA. L-Theanine is a GABA precursor but passes easily through the blood-brain barrier, which GABA does not do. I'm not saying it's better, but may be for some people. It's another way of increasing GABA and slowing brain electrical activity. L-Theanine is an extract from green tea and is responsible for the calm feeling green tea creates. Try 200-400 mg two or three times daily and compare it with GABA to see which you prefer.

Exercise should not exacerbate tinnitus except for the short period when your heart rate is increased. Exercise is great for the nervous system. But, I can see allergies and sinus problems playing a big role in tinnitus.

Acupuncture and hypnotherapy should both be helpful for tinnitus, but in different ways. Tinnitus authority, Dr. Michael Seidman, states that acupuncture can positively influence 40% of tinnitus patients. They have to stay with it and have several sessions a week until they get at least 15 sessions before it becomes fully effective. In Traditional Chinese Medication (TCM) they believe tinnitus is the result of an imbalance between the liver and the kidneys. Acupuncture for tinnitus is used to rebalance the organs. We have an article on acupuncture and tinnitus in our library written by Beth Kohn, who works for Dr. Seidman in the Center for Integrative Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.

Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, deals with the subconscious mind. Treating tinnitus with hypnotherapy is largely aimed at reducing the aggravation of tinnitus and calming the patient. This can be very helpful, especially for people who are extremely annoyed or who react to their tinnitus in a stressful fashion. Stress can be the #1 aggravator of tinnitus, making it much worse than it would otherwise be with no stress. As with acupuncture, many sessions are required before the desired results are obtained. Charles Smithdeal, MD is both a board certified Hypnotherapist and an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor). He specializes in hypnotherapy for people with tinnitus.

Whether you decide to pursue acupuncture or hypnotherapy, I believe, should be determined by the type of person you are. If you are calm, reasoned and not suffering a great deal with tinnitus, acupuncture may be the way to go for you. However, if you are highly stressed out, making the tinnitus worse because of the stress, hypnotherapy may be a good choice

I must say this is a completely subjective discussion from my side. I'm sure others would disagree with me. It is not a question of which is best but which therapy is right for you. I hope this has been helpful.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Garlic for Meniere's disease?


I have been diagnosed with cochlear drops and tinnitus in my right ear.  I've been taking Arches Tinnitus Formula for 3 years now, which has greatly helped the tinnitus I have in my head that is separate from the tinnitus in the right ear.

Do you think I should be taking a garlic supplement also to help with my right ear?

Regards, Sue W.

Dear Sue,

I'm very happy our products have helped you. I believe you are referring to hydrops. Endolymphatic hydrops is a term that refers to Meniere's disease, a condition of the vestibular system and unrelated to cochlear problems.

Meniere's disease is a condition where fluid builds up in the semicircular canals of the inner ear. These canals are responsible for sensing the body's position and balance. People who suffer from Meniere's disease typically have episodes of vertigo, or dizziness. It can also be damaging to hearing and can cause tinnitus. I don't believe garlic will be helpful for this. Treatment options typically start with a diuretic and a low salt diet. These help reduce the amount of fluid in the ear and the pressure buildup. I'm sure the Ear, Nose & Throat physician who diagnosed this will be able to recommend appropriate treatment.

Arches Tinnitus Formula is also helpful in reducing the dizziness and treating the tinnitus caused by Meniere's. Please keep using it.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Effervescent  form of NAC better for hearing loss?

Dear Barry, You recommend in "Save Your Hearing Now" NAC as a detoxifier & for inner ear hair cell repair.  I've been taking Jarrow Formulas brand NAC 2000 mgs per day for a long time with no benefit.  I saw an advertisement for effervescent NAC which they claim is superior to other brands of NAC because the tablets are sealed & not exposed to oxygen & that effervescent form is more bioavailable.

Please let me know what you think! Bev H.

Dear Bev,

Thanks for sending this to me. I was not aware of effervescent N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC) and had to study it for a while to formulate an answer.

NAC is an antioxidant and detoxifier and protects the delicate hair cells in the cochlea. It does not repair them after damage; nothing can do that. It does protect against damage from loud sounds. The US Navy has conducted research that shows that if NAC is taken prior to, or shortly after, exposure to loud sound, hearing thresholds are sustained and cochlear damage is kept to a minimum. It has to be taken within 24-48 hours after the exposure. After that time, it is not effective in restoring previous damage. Arches Tinnitus Formula™ also will not repair damaged hair cells but will reduce the sound levels generated by excess glutamate produced by the cells.

NAC is very effective in many other areas. It dramatically improves immune function, fights colds and flu, helps prevent cancer, regulates glucose levels, and has many other healthful functions.

Returning to your original question: After several hours of trying to find evidence that effervescent NAC is more effective than tablet or capsule form, I was unable to find any evidence that this is so. The only claims I found were those proposed by the manufacturer or other businesses selling the product. There are absolutely no clinical studies or scientific papers discussing this that I was able to find. It may be true that NAC oxidizes when exposed to air and becomes less effective. This occurs with many supplements. Generally, manufacturers take this into account and take steps to avoid exposure to air. One prime example is fish oil, which will go rancid when exposed to air. Better manufacturers produce fish oil in a nitrogen atmosphere to avoid this.

Effervescent NAC may be slightly more effective than conventional supplement products. However, I also saw prices in the range of $1.00 per dose. This is extremely costly. I use NAC produced by Source Naturals. Each bottle contains 120 tablets of 1,000 mg each. I pay about $40.00 for this bottle, a two-month supply at 2,000 mg per day. Effervescent NAC would cost about $120.00 for the same amount. I think you should save your money and stick with the NAC you are using.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate