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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - March 2007

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.

Dental drilling and tinnitus Hi Barry, I have some anxiety about going to the dentist to have a cap made. I have heard conflicting reports on whether to wear ear protection or not. Some say that it can do more harm because it sounds louder when you wear ear plugs or ear muffs, others say it doesn't help. What is your latest opinion on this matter? Also, should you ask the dentist to take breaks?

I always appreciate your opinion. Thank you so much.

Sincerely, Randee

Dear Randee; Dental drills generally present more of a problem for the dentist than the patient. They have to listen to it all day, every day and many have tinnitus because of it. Ear protection helps somewhat but the sound is carried by bone conduction as well as through the air and ear protection doesn’t help this.

There are newer drills that emit no sound but perhaps your dentist doesn’t have this. The new drills have titanium bits and are so hard they can spin at a much lower rpm. The result is you do not hear them in the ears or by bone conduction. In a few years, all dentists will probably have these.

The best tactic to use with the older drills is to discuss the matter with your dentist. Ask him or her to take frequent breaks of a few minutes. This will allow the cochlea to quickly recover and not suffer any long-term effects from the drilling noise. I have heard this is an effective method of preventing damage.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate


Vinpocetine versus ginkgo for tinnitus

Dear Barry, I plan on purchasing your product for my husband based upon the information from your website, but I would like to know if vinpocetine is something to consider also along with your product.

My husband has had tinnitus for 10+ years and it is so bad that he is having trouble sleeping now. I plan on looking at the serotonin issue as well, but every time I give him 5HTP (50 mg) he he feels extremely tired, and can’t get going .I think this is another area if corrected (neurotransmitters) would help also.

Thank you for your response and I look forward to my husband starting your products and hopefully receiving some relief form this problem.

S. Hughes Burlington, WI

Dear S. Hughes, Thank you for your question. Vinpocetine has been used successfully in Europe to reduce tinnitus symptoms. It is a powerful vasodilator and increases cerebral blood flow. Dr. Seidman discusses this in an article on Alternative Treatments.

While Vinpocetine has a single beneficial effect (increasing blood flow), Ginkgo biloba also exerts this effect along with being a strong antioxidant and neuroprotector. Ginkgo actively inhibits the production of glutamate, the primary villain in cochlear-synaptic tinnitus. It is combined with chelated zinc and deodorized garlic in Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula®. This combination has been shown to be a powerful tinnitus mediator for most people. There is an article on the scientific basis of TRF and how it works in our Tinnitus Info center.

You can combine the two but I advise caution; they are both considered to be blood thinning agents and you should be careful of thinning the blood too much. Watch for easy bruising and nose bleeds. If either of these occurs, you must reduce dosage of one or both.

Getting a good night’s sleep is a major problem among people with tinnitus. 5HTP should be helpful. If your husband wakes up tired the next day, try reducing the dosage. I take 3 mg of time-release melatonin at night to ensure I sleep through. Melatonin comes in varying doses but most are not time-release. We published an article on How to get a Good Night’s Sleep.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate


What's in your B-Vitamin?

Hi Barry, My Tinnitus began November 17, 2006. I went to a few ENTs who couldn’t help me and fortunately I now am a patient of Dr. Seidman. He suggested I take the TRF. So I ordered it and began taking it on January 6, 2007.

I would like to know if the vitamin B stress formula is truly natural. A holistic herbalist told me the stress formula is synthetic and not to take them (she even said that I am allergic to them) . Also, would like to know about the TRF. She told me that chelated Zinc and anything chelated is bad, but zinc gluconate is good. Can you please tell me what you think of that? I don’t know what or who to believe. I am still taking the TRF (with additional 20mg of chelated zinc as suggested by Arches) , and the B12, but stopped taking the Stress B vitamins a week ago because it contains niacinimide (non flushing B-3) and I am concerned about the possibility of liver toxicity. Should I be concerned? I really am upset about not taking B vitamins because I have 4 kids and I'm very stressed.

I am hoping you can answer these questions, as most of the last 3 months of my life have been basically a nightmare and I would truly like to get healthy again. Always thought I was healthy, I’m 39 years old, have been running for the past 23 years, in shape and eat healthy. Truly I think that stress brought the tinnitus on.

Thank you in advance, Linda

Dear Linda, Our B vitamins are made using some synthetic materials. Most commercial B vitamins are made this way. If your herbalist told you to take all natural B vitamins, perhaps that is what you should do. They may be more difficult to find but if you’re allergic to commercial B vitamins, it will be advantageous to change.

Zinc gluconate is chelated as is ours. We use zinc glycinate which is very similar. Chelation is simply the addition of an amino acid (totally harmless) to the zinc molecule. This allows the amino acid to be absorbed, after which the zinc is stripped off. The mineral zinc is very poorly absorbed and chelation increases absorption to around 90%. Some people think zinc monomethionate is the superior form and it may be. I believe these are very small differences however.

You are correct that niacinimide has some potential for liver damage and is not recommended. However, the dosage in our Stress Formula is quite small. People taking 500-700 mg per day of niacin would definitely have a concern. I guess it’s a non-issue if you’re not going to use the Stress Formula anyway. Nothing you are taking will interfere with Arches TRF.

Dr. Seidman is one of the very best, if not the best, tinnitus specialists in the US. I hope between his care and our products you have a significant reduction in your tinnitus.

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.