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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - June 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 Keate

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

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Any relief for age-related tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

I have just been given the news that due to age some hearing loss is causing my tinnitus and is beyond repair. I have tried many techniques but this hissing is horrible. I’ve tried fans, white noise. Is there any hope of relief?

Judy B.

Dear Judy,

Yes, there is hope for relief. In fact, there are many avenues you can investigate that should help lower your tinnitus.

Your doctor is correct that there is no repair for damaged hearing, whether it is damaged by noise exposure or age the damage is not repairable. However, there are many things that will aggravate tinnitus and some that will be helpful in reducing it. Without mentioning everything that is possibly helpful, here is a rundown on some of the most effective means.

Diet affects tinnitus and is an important consideration. Intake of salt will always make tinnitus worse. Also, most sugar substitutes and flavor enhancers will aggravate tinnitus. You must have a very healthy diet to manage tinnitus.

Stress is also an important trigger for tinnitus. Stress will take a level 3 tinnitus (on a scale of 10) and turn it into a level 7 or 8 overnight. It is important to manage stress.

As mentioned in these previous articles, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, biofeedback and hypnosis are all helpful in reducing tinnitus.

Tinnitus masking is usually accomplished by the sound of moving water. If you don’t notice your tinnitus when in the shower, or if it is significantly reduced, you are a good candidate for this. Sound generators sold in department stores typically have several sounds of moving water. These include bubbling brook, crashing surf, rainfall and others. I find the sound of falling rain to be very soothing and it masks my tinnitus.

Arches Tinnitus Formula has been shown in clinical studies to reduce tinnitus for most people. It is especially helpful for those, such as you, whose tinnitus was caused by hearing loss. It is necessary to use it for a full three months before the full benefit can be determined. We recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit which includes a three month supply of the Tinnitus Formula.

I hope this is helpful for you.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Did car accident or blood pressure meds cause tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Reading your information on tinnitus is very informative.  I developed tinnitus about 3-4 months after a car accident in which I was hit in the back.  However, a “hearing clinic” said it probably is the blood pressure medication I was taking. I have since changed the medication to one that says it does not cause tinnitus.

My doctor put me on Amitriptyline saying that it will improve the tinnitus. I have only been on this for a few days.  The doctor says the blood pressure tablets did not cause my tinnitus even though it does say that they do on the internet. She says that she cannot say what causes it.  Please advise and help if you can help.

Yours Sincerely,

Elaine C.

Dear Elaine,

I agree with your doctor; the blood pressure medications probably did not cause tinnitus. Although there is the potential for this to happen, the odds are quite low. I believe it is the accident itself. TMJ dysfunction is a common result of whiplash and it can frequently cause tinnitus.

There are other treatment options for the tinnitus. Acupuncture can be helpful for it and Ginkgo biloba has been shown to be helpful. We also have an informative article on how head and neck injuries cause tinnitus.

You should be checked for TMJ dysfunction. Specialists in this area are dentists with advanced training in the field. At the bottom of the previously cited article on TMJ and tinnitus, there is a link to the American Academy of Cranio Facial Pain. Inside their website is a way to find a specialist in your area. A TMJ specialist will be able to tell you whether you have this or not. If you do, treatment can begin immediately. Almost all treatment options are painless and non-invasive.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Could stem cell research help tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

Did you see the study on stem cell injections directly into the brain of people Who had strokes? The article was in the Washington Post June 3 of this year. The outcome for many of the patients was remarkable, one of the wheelchair bound patient walked again. Could this therapy be applied to people with tinnitus?


Carole F.

Dear Carole,

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. This is a great study and I think it will eventually have definite applications for people with hearing loss and tinnitus. In fact, I think stem cell therapy is the wave of the future for curing both conditions. Unfortunately, it is a long way off. The Stanford study you refer to was an extremely small study of 18 people and was designed to test the safety of the procedure, not the effectiveness.

There have been previous studies on stem cells to restore hearing but they have not been conducted on people as yet. Prior work was conducted on laboratory mice and chickens and was successful in initiating the growth of cochlear hair cells. The next step is to integrate these stem cell-derived hair cells with the recovery of neural synapses to complete the auditory pathway. There is much work ahead and it may be 10 or 20 years before this can develop into a clinical treatment for hearing loss and tinnitus in people.

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.