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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - February 2019

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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Could tinnitus lead to dementia?

Hi Barry,

Recently an article ran stating that tinnitus was actually a brain disorder and could eventually lead to dementia or Parkinson’s Disease.  Is this true?

Cathy H.

Dear Cathy,

What you say is mostly but not wholly correct.

Tinnitus is a brain disorder. It is due to hyperactivity in the auditory cortex. But what causes this hyperactivity? It is generally caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. When these cells are damaged, they release high amounts of glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that causes the hyperactivity. This is one reason Arches Tinnitus Formula is helpful; it contains a high level of Bilobalide, which is a glutamate antagonist.

It is not tinnitus that leads to cognitive decline and dementia but hearing loss, which most often accompanies tinnitus. Many people have hearing loss without tinnitus. This results in cognitive impairment. People who have tinnitus without hearing loss do not have cognitive impairment.

Hearing loss inhibits input to the brain, as does uncorrected eyesight. Without proper input, areas of the brain degenerate and the brain actually shrinks, leading to dementia. Most people with poor eyesight wear glasses but the majority of those with hearing loss do not wear hearing aids. I recommend hearing aids to people even though they may not help their tinnitus. Hearing aids help keep the brain active and alert.

Parkinson’s disease can lead to hearing loss. Parkinson’s is due to inadequate levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine protects the inner ear from noise exposure so inadequate levels can lead to cochlear damage and hearing loss due to noise exposure. This can also lead to tinnitus.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Thanks.  And it’s working…

Hey Barry,

No question, I just wanted to thank you and your great work for us tinnitus people. Where else can a layman get this information except for you? I've been taking Arches formula for six years or so. In addition to helping with my tinnitus it also has had other positive effects. My hair (what's left!) and especially my nails grow like crazy and are much thicker; my wife has had the same noticeable results after 2 months. Yes great for tinnitus but I also view the product as a good basic supplement for general health.

Best regards,
Jim K.

Hi Jim,

It's great to hear you have had such benefits from using Arches Tinnitus Formula. Thanks for sending this to me.

The active ingredients in Arches are Ginkgo biloba extract, zinc picolinate and deodorized garlic. All have shown numerous health benefits besides being good for tinnitus.

Ginkgo biloba has been called the "Elixir of Youth" for its numerous health benefits. These include antioxidant activity, blood vessel health, increased glucose and oxygen to the brain, reduced stroke and anti-depressant activity.

Zinc is necessary to maintain eye and ear health and has a strong supportive role in the immune system.

Garlic thins the blood and reduces plaque build-up in the artery leading to the cochlea. It also exhibits powerful cardiac protection and protects the ear from toxic medications. This article discusses those benefits.

So, here's to good health and long life. I hope you continue to enjoy the benefits of Arches Tinnitus Formula.

Wishing you quiet times,

Can cannabis improve tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I would like to know what you think about using "cannabis" to quiet tinnitus. Pennsylvania just made it legal for medical use and I have been told it really helps.

Tom A.
Pittsburgh, PA

Dear Tom,

This is a difficult question to answer because there has been minimal clinical studies on the use of medical marijuana and tinnitus. Many people in the industry report that there is a 50:50 mix of people who say it helps and those who say it makes tinnitus worse.

Marijuana is typically dominated by two strains; THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the one that gives the familiar “high” that pot is known for. CBD has no psychoactive effects and is used for many health benefits ascribed to pot.

My feeling is this: We know marijuana, especially CBD, helps those with epilepsy. That is one of the primary reasons for the push to legalize it. Hippocrates (the father of medicine) stated 2500 years ago, “Tinnitus is the little brother of epilepsy.” We know today that tinnitus is an epileptic-like convulsion in the auditory cortex. CBD oil greatly calms epilepsy and I believe it should be helpful for tinnitus as well.

However, some clinical studies conducted on laboratory mice found that marijuana increased hyperactivity in the auditory cortex causing tinnitus. We don’t know the ratio of THC to CBD in these trials and I think it’s the THC responsible for the increase.

So, go ahead and try it. But I would look for a strain that is highest in CBD and lowest in THC.

I would love to hear from you again with the results of your trial.

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.