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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - March 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 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:

Hi Barry,

I have suffered with tinnitus for over 50 years. Over that period my tinnitus as grown progressively worse , load and increase of noises. To date I have been able to count 20 different sounds in both ears and head. I still find it hard to cope with because according to what outside noise I am receiving, a different tinnitus sound will take over in intensity (not much chance to get used to it as they say). Your comments would be valued.

Thanks for all your good work.

Lionel Marshall, Kendal, England

Dear Lionel;

I’m sorry to hear of your dilemma. I have also experienced a variety of sounds of different intensity in the past. I think some of it at least is from excessive stress and focusing on the tinnitus. Over time, as I improved, the other sounds abated and I now experience one clear tone in my right ear and another tone of a different pitch, though less intense, in my left ear. Neither of these bother me very much as the intensity has been reduced by fully two-thirds since I’ve been using Arches Tinnitus Formulas.

I recommend that you dramatically reduce your salt intake. Salt is a major aggravator of tinnitus. Many people tell me after they reduce salt, their tinnitus improves and after a salty meal it’s much louder. Salt is difficult to avoid. Even if you don’t add salt, it’s found in all packaged, processed food and in restaurant food. Begin to concentrate on how to reduce salt and buy food products with reduced sodium. Also drink lots and lots of water, which will help flush salt deposits out of the body.

You should take 50 mg per day of a high quality chelated zinc. A clinical study showed 82% of tinnitus sufferers improve with this dosage of zinc. It takes 3 months to notice improvement but should be very helpful. Zinc is very inexpensive and a good health food store should stock many brands. Insist that it be chelated, meaning it’s combined with an amino acid for easy absorption.

All people, especially those with tinnitus, should take a high quality anti-oxidant formula. Anti-oxidants scour the body and remove toxins. Free radicals are produced inside the inner ear which poison the neuro-receptors in the auditory nerve and in the cortex. A good antioxidant helps to reduce this. Again, a good health food store should stock several high quality products.

Being overweight also aggravates tinnitus. People who are overweight and shed the extra pounds generally find their tinnitus is improved.

Our products, especially Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula™, have been proven in many clinical studies to reduce tinnitus sounds. You responded from the Ask Barry column so I assume you read the article and study about Ginkgo biloba and tinnitus. You can order our products from the UK online at

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Hi Barry,

I have pretty severe T that has progressively gotten worse over the years. I feel like I have two sponges in my ears that take any loud noise to increase the volume. It could be visiting a restaurant playing music, to getting some work done on my teeth, to even going to a seminar where the speaker is using a microphone. All of these incidents had the same result increasing the noise. Have you really had any success with gingko?

Everybody says they have the "magic cure" but no one seems to put their money where their mouth is and normally they just go for the green. I would be willing to try anything that has a chance of improving my noise level(not expecting it to go away completely). Thanks for listening.


Dear Harvey;

Thank you for your message. I understand your caution as there is a lot of hucksterism on the Internet.

We have quite a bit of success reducing tinnitus symptoms with Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula™ contains pharmaceutical-grade ginkgo . I think you may be responding to last month's Quiet Times. Did you read the article by Dr . Norbert Holstein? He surveyed 19 clinical trials using ginkgo for tinnitus and found the preponderance of evidence proves it is effective.

This is not to say it's the "magic cure" as you put it. Only that it helps in reducing symptoms for most people who use it. I'm a case in point. I've had severe tinnitus for over 30 years. I spent 4 years on and off tranquilizers trying to stay calm. I finally turned to ginkgo and took a higher than normal dosage continuously for 3 months. Sometime in the second month the ringing began reducing. It eventually reduced by fully two-thirds. I've been using this formula for 10 years and the ringing has stayed relatively even. I've stopped twice and both times, after about a week, the ringing began to get louder and more piercing. When I resumed, the ringing subsided again. It increases if I'm under a lot of stress or tired, but generally it's not something I think about like before.

Noted tinnitus authority, Dr. Michael Seidman, states that his experience is that 10% of people have a complete reduction, 10% have no change, and 80% have a reduction that varies by the individual. The important thing to remember is that it does take up to 3 months for the effects to become evident if they will at all.

Ginkgo is also found with wildly varying degrees of quality. Because it's not regulated in the US, it's very easy for many companies to use inferior forms. Consumer Labs has tested over 100 over-the-counter brands of ginkgo and found less than half of them contain what is listed on the label. Among those who do, there's still a wide variation in quality.

Raw ginkgo prices range from around $60.00 per kilogram to $400.00 per kilogram. We use the $400.00 product. We could make lots more money using a less expensive product but we would not have the success that we enjoy and would not have repeat business from thousands of loyal customers. It has always been true that superior ingredients tend to produce superior results.

In case you didn't get to the study we published, it's HERE. This is a groundbreaking study and I urge you to read it carefully. It's in easily readable English and should only take 10-15 minutes.

We also published a page showing why the ginkgo we use is superior to others. You can see that page HERE.

We're not selling snake oil but we're also not selling a "cure-all." If you wish to purchase our products, you can do so online at or by calling us during normal business hours, Mountain Time, at 800 486-1237.

Sincerely, Barry Keate

Dear Barry

I have begun using hearing aids recently and think that I have have noticed a reduction in the amount of tinnitus that I experience. Is this a common response for people?

Thank you

Gerald Manley

Dear Gerald;

Thank you for your question. Yes, it's been known for many years that hearing aids can provide varying degree of relief from tinnitus. The exact mechanism responsible for this is unknown but one Audiology researcher has offered four reasons he believes to be the cause.

1-Tinnitus is exacerbated by silence. The brain increases its sensitivity to sound by seeking out the neural stimulation it's deprived of due to hearing loss. Amplification with hearing aids helps turn down this sensitivity by supplying more auditory stimulation.

2-Tinnitus may be related to a lack of neural inhibition. The GABA receptors are the primary neuro-inhibitors in the brain that keep a check on spontaneous neural activity in the Auditory Cortex. The thinking here is that by amplification, this inhibitory function corrects itself to some degree. See also Dr. Shulman's research into GABA receptors and medications that can activate them at

3-Hearing aids amplify enough background noise to partially mask the tinnitus.

4-Hearing aids assist in reducing the fatigue and stress of having to strain to hear, thereby improving coping mechanisms.

I have heard that hearing aids can be helpful for all people with tinnitus. The ones that can achieve the most help are those who perceive their tinnitus somewhere in the normal auditory range, where most outside sounds occur. Digital hearing aids can be tuned to this exact frequency and increase only those incoming signals that are at the same frequency as the tinnitus, thereby masking it.

This leaves me out. My tinnitus is at 4,000 Hz, a range in which there is not much outside sound.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate