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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry - October 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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Inflammation, Infection & Antibiotics and Tinnitus

Dear Barry,

I`m a twenty nine year old woman, and I have problem with tinnitus. I`ve heard about your company and your remedies, so I would like to ask you some questions. By the way I will try to explain you the beginning of my tinnitus.

In 1999 I suffered from a severe inflammation of the middle ear (bilateral) which lasted for about fifteen days. After taking antibiotics, the inflammation disappeared, but soon after that I started hearing a pulsating noise, in the rhythm of my heartbeats. The lower my head was, the louder was this noise. A few days later the intensity of the noise decreased, but it remains even today; and it still gets stronger if my head is in the lower position, or if I perform any physically intensive activity.

Also, at that time I noticed faint buzzing sound in my right ear, but it was so faint that I could only hear it if I was in a very quiet, soundless room. A year later this buzz got slightly louder, and I went to see my physician again, but I was told then that it would be best to wait and see how it develops, without any medication, but under my physician`s supervision. Unfortunately, a few months later, the buzz got even louder. If I remember well, just before it I had some viral infection, but I am not quite sure. That is when I started taking Trental 400, and after about six months of using it, the condition stabilized. Even the tonal diagram showed a stable state; actually my hearing was not damaged.

About a year ago I had a strong throat inflammation, and tinnitus increased again. I received intramuscular injections of vitamin B12, I took zinc, but not Trental. This state continued for almost a year, but about two months ago I had some urological problems and I used strong antibiotics (Ofloxacin). I think that after that my tinnitus mildly worsened. Also, I was using Trental 400 as intravenous infusions, and I using Gingko biloba extract, vitamin E, and zinc (per os).

Since my tinnitus appeared I've had no acoustic traumas, or heavier stress. I think that the beginning of my tinnitus is connected to infections and inflammations of the ear, which is something I am quite prone to. I don`t suffer from vertigo, and my tympanogramme is OK. Sometimes, when I get up quickly, the buzz increases. It lasts for about one to two minutes, and then it goes back to usual level. I have low blood pressure and according to my physician`s opinion it contributes to my bad blood circulation and tinnitus.

When I recently checked my hearing again, the results showed that there was no damage at all. So I believe that my tinnitus is connected with inflammations in ear and throat, and I suppose that my low blood pressure and my bad peripheral circulation also contribute to it significantly.

I need to inform you that I finished with using homeopathy remedies two weeks ago, but it didn`t have any improvement in my occasions.

Please Barry, can you tell me, what sort of remedies will you recommend to me (combo pack or something else), and what will you generally recommend to me?

Yours sincerely,

Dalibor M.

Dear Dalibor;

Thank you for your message. Everything you mention, inflammation, infection and antibiotics, are known to cause tinnitus. Ofloxacin is an antibiotic that can cause or increase tinnitus, however in only about 1% of people who use it.

It seems to me, as you suggest, the infections and antibiotics in combination with poor circulation are the cause of your tinnitus. Trental (pentoxifylline) is helpful for this as it increases circulation in much the same way as Ginkgo biloba. It decreases blood viscosity and allows the blood to flow easier into the microcapillaries that feed the eyes, ears and brain. Many European doctors use this treatment for tinnitus but not so many here in the US.

Ginkgo has the added advantages of being a powerful antioxidant and glutamate inhibitor. When the cochlea is damaged, as in most cases of tinnitus, it produces an excess of glutamate which becomes toxic to the neuro-receptors in the auditory nerve. These receptors begin to die and produce large amounts of free radicals, which cause most of the damage. Ginkgo helps reduce the amount of glutamate produced and also fights the ensuing free radicals. Trental does not have this capability. There have been clinical studies which show the superiority of Ginkgo over prescription medications that reduce blood viscosity. They are reviewed in this study.

We published an article earlier this year on “Antioxidants, Health and Tinnitus” which explains the role of free radicals in the creation of tinnitus in more detail. It can be seen directly in our Tinnitus Information Center.

The basic problem is the frequency of inflammation and infections that seems to plague you. Modern allopathic medicine is very good at treating the symptoms and ignoring the causes of problems such as this. If you can increase the effectiveness of your immune system, your body will fight off these infections before it becomes necessary for medical intervention. This is much easier said than done as the immune system is a complex mystery to even the best minds. The basics, of course, are good diet, plenty of exercise and high quality supplements, such as multivitamins and antioxidants, to provide the nutrients we don’t receive in our diet.

My absolute favorite reference for medical concerns is the Life Extension Foundation. This is a non-profit group of doctors and researchers who are on the cutting edge of natural and alternative treatments for most medical conditions. Dr. Michael Seidman is on their Medical Advisory Board. The Foundation introduced to modern medicine the principles of Folic Acid for pregnant mothers, CoQ-10, lycopene to prevent cancer, small doses of aspirin to prevent heart attacks and many, many others. Visit their website at and search for infections. You’ll find a wealth of information and medical protocols on herbs and supplements to improve the immune system and also to fight infections after they’ve begun.

There has never been a single clinical study conducted on the effects of homeopathy on tinnitus. This is because there have never been any anecdotal stories of success. Clinical trials are very expensive and time consuming. Doctors and researchers are only interested in conducting clinical trials if they have a reason to believe it will be successful. I believe the main benefit of selling homeopathic remedies is that they are extremely inexpensive to manufacture. I have never heard of a single person with tinnitus who has been helped by homeopathy. They certainly sell a lot of their products though.

I recommend primarily Arches Tinnitus Relief Formula and Dr Seidman’s Anti-Oxidant Formula. Our patent-pending TRF provides therapeutic doses of pharmaceutical grade Ginkgo extract, chelated zinc and deodorized garlic. It must be used for three months before it can be determined how effective it will be for tinnitus. We recommend 4 bottles of TRF, which is a 100 day supply. Dr. Seidman’s Anti-Oxidant Formula is the most outstanding combination of anti-oxidants available and may be helpful in reducing the frequency and intensity of inflammation and infection.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Tinnitus only when he plays...

Dear Barry;

About the same time the 200mg dosage of Zoloft kicked in (with euphoria), I began hearing a rasp or a grain in the tone of my trumpet No other tinnitus. Just when I play my horn.

If I put ear plugs in, it cuts the rasp out, but of course a wind instrument player has to hear well his tone for the hearing interacts with the desire or intention to produce a tone similar to previous performances.

Of course stopped taking the Zoloft right after i realized it was in my hearing and not in the instrument except perhaps after the fact of tinnitus rasp there is a commensurate effect in the production.

Happened 4 years ago; cut out all caffeine; any comments Barry?


a professional musician

Dear Henry;

Prescription anti-depressants are pretty nasty drugs. Most of them cause tinnitus at least some of the time and Zoloft is one of the worst offenders. It frequently causes tinnitus in those people who use it. There are a host of other unwanted side effects from these drugs. According to the Physician's Desk Reference, Zoloft frequently causes the following: sexual dysfunction, impotence, heart palpitations, chest pain, weight gain, back pain and tinnitus. The list of infrequent but possible side effects is far too long to include here.

There are many other natural anti-depressants that work just as well or better than Zoloft and have no possible side effects. They're not prescribed often by doctors because the pharmaceutical companies can't patent them.

Some natural anti-depressants that come to mind are Ginkgo biloba, B-Complex vitamins, St. John's Wort and SAMe. SAMe is pretty expensive and not covered by insurance but it is very effective as a natural anti-depressant.

Better stay off the prescriptions and play beautiful music.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Losing her hair over tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I have been taking Arches Tinnitus Relief formula now for over a year. I only came down with Tinnitus in February of 2002. As others have stated, it is a terrible and frustrating problem. But, taking your formula has totally reduced the noise level for me completely. It was wonderful day when I was sitting in my home in silence and realized I had no noise in my left ear what so ever. It was amazing! I wanted to thank you for that.

The only thing I have noticed, and just recently, is I am losing more hair than normal. I read where blood thinners can cause loss of hair. And I believe that this is the cause, since I have had no other medications and I have no history of hair loss in my family. No male or female patterned baldness or thinning of hair, etc. My hair is shedding and when I brush my hair, I have a whole brush full of hairs. When I touch my hair I get hairs coming out as well, from the root. This of course is upsetting and I am wondering what I can do? I know if I go off of the Tinnitus Relief Formula I will get my terrible buzzing noise back. If I reduce the amount I take each day, I do not know if I will get back the noise or even if it will help on the hair loss issue? Any suggestions I would appreciate. Thanks very much!

Elizabeth F.

Dallas TX

Dear Elizabeth;

I'm sorry to hear about your hair loss. But I am delighted your tinnitus is so much improved. In the numerous clinical studies which have been done on the ingredients used in our formulas, hair loss has never been noted or described as a side effect, nor have we ever heard of this phenomena from any of our customers.

I question the information you found. Generally, hair follicles die from lack of blood circulation and frequent head massages have been known to reduce the amount of hair loss. At least, that's what I tell my wife.

I checked the Physician's Desk Reference for Coumadin, the most widely prescribed blood thinner. There are hundreds of possible side effects listed but hair loss is not among them.

Since your tinnitus is so greatly improved, you may not need to take the full dosage. I suggest you lower your dosage gradually to two capsules daily. Go to three capsules daily for a couple of weeks. If the noise doesn't come back, go to two. Hopefully, you'll continue to have the same results with the tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate