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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - November 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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Where's the cure?


I just saw a pop-up and see you "recovered" from Tinnitus!?!?!?!?! I didn't know it was possible. I am tired of spending money from my SS on "cures"....nothing has helped me.....I don't know WHEN or HOW it started....but it's been YEARS...and YES, I'm yelling!!!!!!

Sorry....I went to 2 audiologists within a 5 year span (some years ago). Both said the same thing: nerve damage.....???? From what?? loud noise, heavy metal bands? Medication? I am laughing right now.... I hope you are..... I have made the comment that tinnitus will follow me to the coffin.... BUT, in my heart, I'm still looking for help.... these $9.99, $39.99, "cures" add up...and yes, I AM worth the money.... but I am on a limited income and barely make a go of life at this point.......I take synthroid (slow metabolism for over 10 years now) I recently heard that it can "cause", I shouldn't have told you that, as it gives you an "excuse" for my T!!!!!! If your truly interested in helping people, I am sure I will hear from you.


Dear Maryann;

Certainly people can recover from tinnitus, just as I have. That’s not to say there’s a cure, there is no cure for tinnitus. When we say recovery, we mean managing the condition to reduce the sound so we can continue with our lives. Tinnitus is no longer in the front and center of our consciousness but more in the background. So when anyone advertises a “cure”, know that this is impossible and it’s probably a scam.

There are many therapies that help people reduce tinnitus sounds. Proper diet and exercise are very important. Researchers have found that close to 90% of people with tinnitus have a sugar metabolism disorder known as Hyperinsulinemia. This simply means an elevated insulin level in the blood. They conducted a clinical study and put these people on a diet suitable for diabetics; low sugar, low refined carbohydrates, eating every three hours. Over two years, 76% had improvement in their tinnitus. You can see our report by clicking here.

Reducing salt and exercising regularly are very helpful for people with tinnitus. There are medical therapies that help people such as tinnitus masking, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, cochlear implants and some prescription medications. New therapies are being developed that have great promise. Electrical and magnetic stimulation have shown very positive results in clinical trials and should be in doctors offices in the next couple of years. Many of these therapies can be found in the “Tinnitus Center” on our website at

I don’t know what you meant by the phrase “giving me an excuse for your tinnitus”. Sometimes, if we can find the cause, there is something that can be done. The Synthroid did not give you tinnitus but quite probably your underactive thyroid did. Hypothyroidism is a known cause of tinnitus.

We offer Arches Tinnitus Formulas which are helpful for most people, not all, in reducing, not curing, tinnitus symptoms. Dr. Michael Seidman endorses our products and says that 10% of people will have a complete reduction, 10% will have no change and 80% will have a reduction in sound which varies by the individual. Dr. Seidman is one of the premier tinnitus specialists in the US and tells his patients they must use it for at least three months before they can determine the degree of effectiveness.

To quiet times,

Barry Keate

Tinnitus caused by medication?

Dear Barry,

I started taking Ultram last year due to a herniated disk at L5/S1. It really helps the pain but, since last January, I've been experiencing the hissing sound of tinnitus in my right ear. My left ear has only had a touch of this but I wonder if it will get worse over time.

My pharmacist said that the medicine that I've been prescribed could very well have caused or, at least, contributed greatly to the tinnitus. Do you have any information connecting this particular medication to tinnitus?

I appreciate your newsletter and I want you to know that you're doing a good thing by bringing this information to the masses. It lets all of us that have this problem know that we're not "crazy" or imagining things. Thank you so much.

Warm Regards,

Stacy Pittinos

Dear Stacy;

Thank you for your kind words. This job brings a lot of satisfaction to me, especially when I receive feedback like yours.

Ultram can cause or worsen tinnitus in less than 1% of people. This sounds small, but if you’re in that 1%, you don’t care that the other 99% didn’t get it. I recommend you discuss with your doctor whether there’s another, equally effective, painkiller without the possible side effect of tinnitus. A list of drugs that cause tinnitus can be found by clicking here.

Studies show that those people who have tinnitus primarily in one ear and who have had it for less than one year respond much better to Ginkgo biloba. One researcher stated that not only should all people with tinnitus use Ginkgo but they should begin as soon as symptoms are present. Ginkgo is one of the primary ingredients in Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula. An overview of these studies, with the quote I mentioned, can be viewed here.

To quiet times,

Barry Keate

Giving a ginkgo a go... again.

Dear Barry,

Thought I might give the Gingko another go.Have you any experience with someone not responding to GB, then responding some time later? I presently take 40 mg Lipitor, 25 mg Metropolol, .5 mg Clonazepam and .4 mg Flomax. All, l time daily. I stopped my anti-depressant after a year and gained needed weight and feel better, but the ringing did not subside. It seems now, when loud noises occur the ringing goes up much quicker than it recedes, and I don't think it recedes to the level it was before the loud noise. But I can't live in a soundproof chamber. Let me know what you think, and what is the minimum amount I should try, if I should try at all. I have heard Memantine can be helpful, but can't get any of my doctors to let me try it. Problem is, even in a city the size of Little Rock, there are no doctors really knowledgeable on tinnitus. They know about it but I don't believe they study it.

Best regards,

Jim Porter

Hi Jim;

Yes, it’s possible that you could have a more effective reaction. There’s no doubt that Ginkgo, Zinc and Garlic are helpful in reducing tinnitus and restoring healthy chemistry to the auditory pathway. Dr. Seidman has found that some people have a positive reaction after the three month period we recommend. He is now telling some of his patients to use it for four to six months continuously.

I think that a combination therapy may be useful. Arches Tinnitus Relief formula in conjunction with another therapy may be more effective than either one by itself. There are many things that can be used for tinnitus. Gabapentin has been shown to reduce symptoms for many as has Melatonin. Gabapentin (trademarked as Neurontin) has been studied in combination with Klonopin by Dr. Abraham Shulman and has been shown to reduce symptoms for most people. You can see Dr. Shulman’s research by clicking here. You may want to print this out and show your doctor. He or she may be willing to prescribe it.

Neurontin has some side effects and about 30% of those in Dr. Shulman’s trial decided to discontinue due to those effects. A very similar product is available over-the-counter from health food stores and sold as GABA (gamma amino butyric acid). GABA and Neurontin both activate the GABA receptors in the brain, which are inhibitory receptors. They slow down excess electrical activity in the auditory cortex. We have heard from a few people that GABA supplements in conjunction with Arches TRF have reduced the noise significantly.

There have been studies done with Melatonin that show it also reduces symptoms. I found a great website at the University of St. Louis where they are conducting trials with gabapentin and rTMS. They also discuss trials of Melatonin and Memantine. It’s a great information resource and can be seen at

I have a couple of comments on their reports. They discuss using 3 mg Melatonin. My own personal experience is 5-6 mg two hours before bedtime is great for inducing a good night’s sleep.

They report that gabapentin was well tolerated while Dr. Shulman reports a 30% drop out rate due to side effects. I think the difference is the people in St. Louis were using 900 mg while Dr. Shulman started at 900 mg and went up to 2700 mg if necessary.

In the Memantine discussion, they mention it is antiglutamatergic and that’s why it’s effective. This means Memantine inhibits the production and action of glutamate. Ginkgo biloba does the same thing! It is an effective glutamate antagonist and a powerful antioxidant within the ear. The combination of the two should be very effective if used together.

Hopefully, a combination therapy will be more efficacious than any particular one. If your tinnitus seems intractable, you should fire all the ammunition at it you can find.

To quiet times,

Barry Keate