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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - October 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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Surgery, Anesthesia and Tinnitus

Hi Barry,

I am due to go into hospital within the next two weeks for surgery on my foot. I have put it off twice because of the fear that general anesthetic and/or painkiller/antibiotics may cause my long standing tinnitus to get worse. I am at my wits end I desperately need the operation but am so scared of any worsening of my tinnitus.  Have you any suggestions?  Thank you.


Dear Kathy,

I do have some suggestions. I’m not an expert on antibiotics and suggest you discuss with your doctor using one that is not ototoxic. Most antibiotics can be safely used these days.

I have found that the newer anesthetic, Propofol, can worsen tinnitus. It did once to mine and lasted for some time. I suggest you clearly state to your surgeon that you want to use the older anesthetics. All surgeons have these readily available. They like the newer one because patients wake up faster but, other than that, there is no good reason why they would object to using the older ones.

Opioid painkillers should not be a problem. The problem may arise with what the opioid is mixed with. I cannot take Ibuprofen without it increasing my tinnitus so I generally ask for a generic for Norco. I think it’s also referred to as Lortab. This consists of hydrocodone and acetaminophen, which is Tylenol.

Finally, I recommend taking N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) before, during and after your surgery. This is an inexpensive antioxidant that can be found in health food stores. Take about 1,000 mg twice daily. This will help prevent damage to your ears. Start taking it right away. There are no side effects from this and it is very healthy to take.

Arches Tinnitus Formula can also help protect against ototoxic medications. I would advise you to take this but you cannot use it right before surgery because it is a blood thinner. You don’t want to thin the blood during surgery. You can start using it shortly after the surgery, after the bleeding stops.

I hope this is helpful for you. I’m sure you will be fine if you follow these suggestions.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Teenage Tinnitus and Thyroid Issues


I have Hashimoto’s disease, which attacks the thyroid, and was recently diagnosed.  My 15 year old daughter has been suffering with severe tinnitus since she was 12.  She also has anxiety attacks. I had thought the anxiety might be exacerbating the tinnitus or vice versa. But now am wondering if thyroid could be the underlying cause of all of this?  Do you see this much in adolescent girls?


Peggy H.

Dear Peggy,

I don’t know how often thyroid problems hit teenagers but I do know it is responsible for many tinnitus cases. Hypothyroidism is directly linked to tinnitus and, when the thyroid is treated, tinnitus reduces or disappears.

Stress and anxiety are the number 1 aggravator of existing tinnitus. Stress will take a level 2 or 3 tinnitus (on a scale of 10) and turn it into a 7 or 8 overnight. You must treat your daughter’s anxiety. There are numerous ways to do this. Please read our article on Stress and Tinnitus.

Back to hypothyroid. We also have an article about this that may be helpful. Your doctor will need to evaluate whether this is a problem for your daughter.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

The cure for ringing in the ears?

Hi Barry,

Is there anything that can be done to cure my ringing in my ears?   It is worse at times ....than it is at other times.


Dear Deanne,

There is no cure for tinnitus, especially from tinnitus caused by noise exposure and hearing loss. This is far and away the primary cause of tinnitus. However, there are many management methods that can help reduce the ringing. Reduction of salt intake is a big one. A related method is reduction in fast food and packaged food consumption. These products are where about 80% of the salt in the American diet comes from. It is used as a preservative.

Other techniques include stress reduction, acupuncture, biofeedback, diet modifications and others. You can search for any of these in our Tinnitus Library where we have over 120 articles on everything related to tinnitus.

Our primary product is Arches Tinnitus Formula with Ginkgo Max 26/7®. This product has been clinically proven to reduce tinnitus sounds for most people who use it. For those who have tinnitus due to noise exposure and hearing loss, the greatest cause of tinnitus, the success rate of Arches TF is 75% to 80%.

It does require three months to get the full effect so we recommend Arches Tinnitus Starter Kit, a three-month supply.

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.