Convention Diary – Denver, Colorado, September 9 – 12, 2001
By Barry Keate
Barry Keate, has lived with tinnitus over 40 years and has published 150+ research articles on numerous aspects of tinnitus. He is an expert on the condition and a well-known advocate for those with tinnitus.
Last month Marketing Director Brent Curtis and I traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the annual convention of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Otorlaryngologists are more commonly known as Ear, Nose and Throat doctors. It was an exciting and rewarding experience for us.
The convention, which ran from September 9 through September 12, was marred by the tragic events on September 11th. After the attacks occurred televisions were set up around the convention floor so that attendees could stay current on the latest news. Needless to say after the attack the mood on the convention floor became very somber and reflective.
Prior to the convention, there was a meeting of the International Tinnitus Forum at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Denver. This group of approximately 75 researchers from around the world presented papers on the latest developments in their efforts to find the cause and develop treatments for tinnitus.
Dr. Michael Seidman and Dr. Abraham Shulman were the co-organizers for the gathering. Brent and I were the only non-doctors invited to the forum. Dr. Seidman is a nationally recognized authority on tinnitus. He endorses and recommends the Arches Tinnitus Formulas® as a treatment for tinnitus to his patients.
In the first part of the symposium, papers were presented on Leupeptin, a neuro-protector for the outer hair cells in the inner ear. Studies have shown that this drug protects hair cells from acoustic trauma and preserves them in the presence of continuous noise exposure. Other papers dealt with drug combinations that show promise in reducing the noise level of tinnitus, whiplash injury and tinnitus, and using animal models to study tinnitus.
The second half of the meeting was hosted by Dr. Seidman and involved a protocol for investigating Intratympanic Drug Therapy in the Treatment of Tinnitus. Dr. Seidman is in the forefront of research in this area. This protocol involves delivering medication directly to the inner ear rather than through the entire body. There will be an in-depth article on this subject by Dr. Seidman in an upcoming article in “Quiet Times.”
The reason for this type of therapy is that the inner ear is isolated – physically, anatomically and chemically – from the rest of the body. This is a protective mechanism to keep toxins out of the inner ear but it also limits medications that are given orally or by injection from reaching the inner ear. Intratympanic Drug Therapy involves the use of a micro-catheter which is attached to, but does not puncture, the round window, which is the barrier to the inner ear. Medications are injected into the micro-catheter and allowed to perfuse, or permeate through, the round window. Initial results are encouraging and some people in clinical trials have had a significant reduction in their tinnitus symptoms using this therapy.
The convention itself was very exciting. There were over 5,000 ENTs in attendance from around the world. Our purpose was to educate them in the use of Ginkgo biloba and especially Arches Tinnitus Formula® (ATF) for the treatment of tinnitus in their patients. We were warmly received and most doctors listened attentively while we told them of the three criteria for successful use of ATF:
- The correct dosage of two capsules of ATF taken twice daily – once in the morning and again in the evening,
- The use of the highest quality, pharmaceutical grade Ginkgo biloba, e.g. Arches Tinnitus Formula®,
- Continued usage for at least 3 months before determining the degree of relief, as recommended by Dr. Seidman.
I was pleasantly surprised at the openness and caring attitude of most of these specialists. They have been frustrated in their lack of ability to treat tinnitus and are looking for something to help their patients. Many of them had been telling patients to use Ginkgo but didn’t know in what dosage or where to refer them. One doctor even approached us, looked at the pictures of our three products and said “Let me guess; Ginkgo, B-Complex and B-12”. When I told him he was right on the money, he said “That’s exactly what I tell my tinnitus patients to take. I’ll send them to you from now on.” You can imagine that made me feel very good.
We kept extremely busy during the convention and at times doctors were backed up listening to us talk to those in front of them. Over 100 ENTs immediately asked us to send them our brochures and will be referring their patients to us. We have sent out over 5,000 of our brochures to these doctors. We will be attending all future conventions of the AAO-HNSF and will send reports to you after each one.