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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - March 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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Ear fullness, neck pain, plus an MRI

Hi Barry,

My ears have so much pressure, fullness, ringing, and loss of hearing. I had a neck fusion a few years ago, and not sure what to do. I had an MRI of the brain and was told “it’s just tinnitus.” I don't think this is accurate. I don't leave the house much due to neck pain and loud ringing and I just feel “woodie.” Please help.


Dear Susan,

There are many possible causes of ear fullness, tinnitus and muffled hearing. The MRI you received is a routine test to determine if there is an acoustic neuroma present. Acoustic neuroma is a rare, benign, slow growing tumor that occurs on the hearing nerve. An MRI wouldn’t necessarily show other causes of your symptoms.

Among the most common, and easily treated, causes of ear fullness is Eustachian Tube Dysfunction. This is where the eustachian tube is blocked due to allergies, colds and flu or infections. Another, more serious cause, could be Meniere’s disease, in which the fluid in the vestibular (balance) system builds up and causes pressure and balance problems, along with ear fullness and tinnitus. We have an article on the most common causes of ear fullness you should read.

There is another cause not listed in the article. This is TMJ dysfunction, where the lower jaw is out of alignment with the skull. This can be due to accidents, falls, grinding teeth or other causes. Common symptoms are pain, ear fullness and tinnitus. This can be treated by a dentist trained in TMJ.

I recommend you see an ENT specialist for a complete workup to determine the cause. These conditions are treatable. If this doesn’t reveal anything relevant, you should see the surgeon who performed the neck fusion to see if this is causing your symptoms.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Meds that cause Tinnitus

Hello Barry,

Will the tinnitus go away if I quit taking the drugs that cause it?

Linda S.

Dear Linda,

There are over 300 prescription and over-the-counter medications that cause tinnitus. Whether your tinnitus will recover depends on how toxic the medication is and how long you have taken it. If the medication has stressed the hair cells in the cochlea, it can be temporary and withdrawing will help. If the hair cells are stressed to the point they are dead, tinnitus is permanent. So there is no clear answer to your question.

Some low toxicity medications like aspirin and ibuprofen may not cause permanent damage. Others, like some chemotherapy drugs, cause permanent damage almost immediately.

Even though tinnitus may be permanent, there are ways to reduce the intensity and aggravation of it. Arches Tinnitus Formula can help in this case.

Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7 has been shown in numerous scientific studies to reduce tinnitus sound levels for most people who use it. It is especially helpful for the great majority of people who have tinnitus due to noise exposure and/or hearing loss. It is also helpful for those who have tinnitus due to ototoxic medications. It can take up to three months to get the full effect so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a full three-month supply of four bottles. You can buy the bottles individually but there is significant cost savings in buying all four at once, plus free shipping and don’t have to worry about running out during the critical thee-month period.

Wishing you quiet times,
Barry Keate

Lying down tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

What can you tell me about tinnitus only when lying down? Makes it hard to sleep. My wife is 66 and never had tinnitus and on no RX’s. This is a recent thing that started a few months ago.

Thank you for any comment.
Bob K.

Dear Bob,

This sounds like somatic tinnitus. That’s when signals from the body (somatic signals) interfere with auditory signals, causing tinnitus. The most common cause of this is TMJ dysfunction. That’s when the jaw is out of alignment with the skull at the TMJ joint. Ask your wife to sit facing you. Take a minute for her to completely relax, then ask her to slowly open her jaw. If she has TMJ, it won’t open straight up and down but will be a little sideways. If this is the case, a dentist familiar with TMJ can make her a mouth guard which will align the jaw with the skull.

If that’s not the case, it is probably a spasm of a muscle in the neck, called the SCM. A physical therapist can help with calming this. There are other causes as well. Here’s an article on somatic tinnitus.

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.