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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - December 2016

Do you have questions about tinnitus, our products or specific treatments? Ask Barry. Arches President and tinnitus authority, Barry Keate, will select the most representative questions each month for publication. All questions will receive a personal reply from Barry.

Tinnitus expert Bary KeateTinnitus expert, Barry Keate, answers your questions on Tinnitus Send your question to: Ask Barry

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Rock 'n' Roll Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I have tinnitus that is loud; I have had it for over 10 years. After the last concert  four years ago, it went up a few notches. When do you decide you need a brain scan to be sure it is not something other than damage from loud noise? I did spend a lot of time around loud speakers and music, rock concerts as a young girl in my 20s, I am 63 now. The noise is crazy-making in my head. Any suggestions you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Dolby D.

Hi Dolby,

Yes, I remember standing in front of giant speakers listening to Iron Butterfly play IN A GADDA DA VIDA. It gave me tinnitus too. I’ve had it ever since about 1970 and it has presented problems in my life. I hope you have developed some coping mechanisms for yours.

An Ear, Nose & Throat physician will normally order an MRI to rule out acoustic neuroma. These are rare, slow growing, non-malignant growths that can, if left untreated, affect hearing, balance and the facial nerve. The ENT may order one of these the very first time you consult with one. I have never had an MRI. If you do get one, make sure you bring good hearing protection as they are pretty loud. Any good ENT will be able to provide this, along with other valuable information such as an audiogram and other tests, but I don’t have any contacts with one there. I know Sherman Oaks as I lived there for a couple of years in the late 70s but didn’t see an ENT there.

Here’s an article on acoustic neuroma.

A poor diet can affect tinnitus significantly. Salt is enemy #1. It constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure and reduces blood flow and will always worsen tinnitus for a period of time. Food additives, MSG, Aspartame and other flavor enhancers should also be avoided as much as possible. Here’s an article on Diet and Tinnitus that may be helpful.

My salvation was in discovering Arches Tinnitus Formula. This has been clinically proven to reduce tinnitus for most people, especially those who have it due to hearing loss and/or noise exposure. You are a great candidate for this. It has reduced my tinnitus by about 2/3 and I have been using it for a little over 20 years. It takes up to three months to get the full effect so I recommend the Tinnitus Starter Kit, a three-month supply

I hope this is helpful. You probably do not have an acoustic neuroma but I cannot advise you to skip the test. If you do have one, you need to take care of it.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Medication Guessing Game and Tinnitus

Hello Barry,

I have tinnitus that is so bad that even the loudest T.V., radio or people won’t drown it out. I also have this constant humming. It goes from one pitch to the other all day, all night. My doctor can't figure it out. I'm about to go nuts. Any insight would be helpful. These are the list of meds I take: Wellbutrin, Neuronton and Atenonol. Occasionally if my back goes out, a Norco, but it's literally an eighth of a tablet. Also, could it be an injury to my ear drum?

Thank you very much.

Jeanmarie P.

Dear Jeanmarie,

I’m very sorry about this but I cannot diagnose from an email. Is the doctor you refer to an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor? If not, I suggest you see one. They can help determine what exactly is wrong. One way they do this is through an audiogram, performed by an Audiologist. An audiogram can determine if you have conductive or sensorineural hearing loss. The difference determines what kind of treatment you will have.

All of the medications you mention have the possibility of causing or worsening tinnitus. However, they are not the ones that are notorious for doing so. I’ve been taking Atenolol for about 10 years with no problem. My wife has been taking Wellbutrin almost forever without it causing tinnitus. You may want to try and stop taking one for a while. If no change, stop another one, then the last one. They could be causing this but I haven’t heard of them causing horrific tinnitus like you describe. We’re all different and there is the possibility one of them is causing this.

Your consistent tinnitus may be the result of hearing loss which is the largest contributor to tinnitus of all causes. However, other medical conditions may also cause it. Among women, thyroid conditions, especially hypothyroid, are common causes. You should have a complete physical exam by a General Practitioner to rule out a medical condition causing it. Please see our tinnitus infographic on possible causes.

The humming sound that changes frequencies is somewhat more difficult to evaluate. Generally, when tinnitus changes during the day, it is due to signals from the body that become entangled with auditory signals and change tinnitus. This is called somatic tinnitus. If the cause of the somatic signals can be determined, it can usually be treated successfully.

If your consistent tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, Arches Tinnitus Formula can be helpful. It has been clinically shown to reduce tinnitus in the great majority of people who take it, especially those with tinnitus due to hearing loss or noise exposure. It can take up to three months to be fully effective so I recommend the Tinnitus Starter Kit, which is a three-month supply

I hope this is helpful and you can find a way to reduce the sound level.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Ginkgo Biloba 24/6 Explained

Hey Barry,

What does it mean when a ginkgo product says standardized to contain 24% (14.4mg) gingko flavone glycosides on the label, but claim 60 mg Ginkgo biloba extract?


Tina M.

Dear Tina,

Thanks for asking this question. It is very important but not well understood by many people.

Ginkgo biloba refers to the leaves of the Ginkgo tree, an ancient tree that is unrelated to other plant species on the planet. It was used medicinally in ancient times by the Chinese. In more recent times it has been studied carefully in Germany, where many beneficial effects from its use are recognized.

The Dr. Willmar Schwabe Company in Germany standardized and tested Ginkgo biloba extract in the 1960’s. They dried and crushed the leaves, soaked them in acetone and water, and purified the results. The soaking drew out the active ingredients in the leaf and left behind inactive ingredients, fiber and so forth. Only the oils were removed.

They then standardized this to a minimum of 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides. But there are other ingredients that were standardized also. Terpene lactones are very important to its pharmacological properties along with  individual components of the flavone glycosides and terpene lactones. The result was a standardized extract of Ginkgo biloba that has been used for the last 50 years in experimentation and treatment of various conditions.

So in your product, there is 24% flavone glycosides and you have a 60 mg capsule or tablet. Twenty four percent of 60 mg is the 14.4 mg in parenthesis. If you had 120 mg of the extract there would be double that amount, or 28.8 mg. Likewise terpene lactones were standardized to a minimum of 6% so there is 3.6 mg terpene lactones in your 60 mg capsule or tablet (6% x 60 mg).

The German Commission E is the German equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They studied the extract for a number of years and published a “monograph”, or treatise, on the subject. Ginkgo biloba extract is used in Germany for a number of conditions, including tinnitus. Please see the Commission E Monograph on Tinnitus.

We at Arches have developed a higher purity, more concentrated extract of Ginkgo biloba that is specifically designed for people with tinnitus. We have trademarked it as Ginkgo Max 26/7® to separate it from the normal extract 24/6. We have also increased the amounts of other constituents that are especially helpful for those with tinnitus.

I hope this is helpful and answers your question.

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. We encourage you to share any suggestions you have received from Ask Barry with your doctor.