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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - December 2018

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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Can a hearing aid improve tinnitus?

Hello Barry,

My audiologist has suggested hearing aids to me because I have noise-induced hearing loss. He reckons the hearing aids will help put the natural sounds back into my brain which they are missing because I have damaged the tiny hair cells that send the signals to the brain.

I have read about this with hearing aids and that they can also add a masking sound in as well. They also reckon over time it will help reduce my tinnitus levels and hopefully promote better sleep. My audiologist will let me try different types of hearing aids to see which one is best.

Any thoughts on this matter? Personally I have now resigned myself to know that this tinnitus is here for life. I am taking 50mg of sertraline, which I got from my doctor. It helps with my anxiety levels which are getting better every day. I’m currently just learning how to sleep better.

Thanks Barry, any thoughts and suggestions would be most helpful.
Stephen W.

Dear Stephen,

I have a couple of comments. Hearing aids can be helpful if your tinnitus is in the mid-range. If it’s high frequency, like mine at 4,000 Hz, don’t expect the hearing aids to mask the tinnitus. There isn’t enough ambient sound in the high frequencies to amplify. So they won’t do much in the way of hiding tinnitus.

Hearing aids are very good and recent research has shown that they help prevent cognitive decline so I am very much for them. But, depending on the frequency of your tinnitus, they may or may not help to mask it.

Hearing aids with masking sounds should be avoided if the masking sound is white noise, unstructured sound at multiple frequencies. It is becoming obvious to researchers that white noise may mask tinnitus but, in the long run, it damages hearing, makes tinnitus worse and prevents habituation and recovery.

I would also be careful of sertraline. This is also known as Zoloft. It is an SSRI anti-depressant and tinnitus is a common side effect of the medication. It may not affect you this way. Up to 10% of people who use it report it has caused or worsened tinnitus. I hate to sound negative but I believe anti-depressants are way over-prescribed and can have serious side effects. If your tinnitus shows signs of worsening, you must stop using it immediately.

Arches Tinnitus Formula® is effective in reducing tinnitus sounds, especially for those who have it due to hearing loss. It is not addictive and has no side effects. I’ve been using it for 30 years with no negative effects and it has lowered my tinnitus by about 70%.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been scientifically proven to reduce tinnitus for the great majority of those who use it. It is especially helpful for those with hearing loss-induced tinnitus. This can occur from exposure to noise and loud sound over time and also those who have lost hearing due to ototoxic medications.

It can take up to three months to get the full benefit so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles.

You may also want to use melatonin to help getting to sleep. I take 10 to 20 mg taken about 60-90 minutes before bedtime. You may want to try a smaller dose at first to see how you react to it.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

She’s taking ginkgo and B12, but will they help?

Hi Barry,

I got tinnitus 2 months ago out of the blue, I have been trying to deal with it and ignore it but by the night it gets the best of me and I take an anxiety pill to calm down. I started taking ginkgo and B-12 about five days ago. Is there anything I can do to quiet this down? Please, any info you can give me would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Fay W.

Dear Fay,

Thanks for sending in your question. You are using ginkgo and vitamin B12 to try and control your tinnitus. But I don’t know what quality or quantity of ginkgo you are using. Consumer Labs reports that 75% of commercial Ginkgo biloba does not meet expected potency. Unfortunately, it is an expensive product and many manufacturers try to save money by adulterating the product with less expensive components.

We offer Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7®. This is a higher potency ginkgo that has been designed by us specifically for people with tinnitus. It is higher in the components that are most helpful for tinnitus. Arches Tinnitus Formula also contains zinc picolinate and odor controlled garlic. Zinc is an important mineral in fighting tinnitus and has been shown to be helpful in reducing it.

The recommended dose of Ginkgo Max 26/7 is 240 mg in the morning and another 240 mg in the evening. It can take up to 3 months to become fully effective so we recommend using 4 bottles (a 100 day supply) before making the determination of how helpful it will be for you.

Please review our article on this highly advanced ginkgo product.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Did spinal fluid leak cause his tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Are you familiar with Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension causing hearing loss and tinnitus?


Dear David,

As you probably know, Spontaneous Intracranial Hypotension (SIH) refers to a leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. If the fluid and resulting pressure impact the vestibular canals in the inner ear, hearing loss, vertigo and tinnitus can occur.

SIH is quite rare, occurring in 1 in 50,000 people per year. It can be brought on by connective tissue disorders, trauma, even vigorous exercise. In most cases, however, the cause is unknown. Many cases spontaneously resolve. If not, medical management that includes bed rest, caffeine restriction and oral hydration may be sufficient to reduce symptoms.

Medical procedures such as an epidural blood patch or another type of fibrous sealant can be used to close the area of leakage. Surgical repair is rarely required.

After resolution of the leak, abnormalities improve within days to weeks. Hearing loss and tinnitus should also decrease.

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.