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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - October 2014

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. Regardless all questions will receive a personal reply from Barry.

ASK BARRY QUESTIONS ON TINNITUS Tinnitus expert, Barry Keate, answers your questions about Tinnitus Send your question to:  Ask Barry

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Tinnitus without Hearing Problems

Hello Barry,

I was diagnosed with tinnitus over one year ago and have taken at least four bottles of the Tinnitus Formula without success.  My left ear has frying/hissing noise with “bom-bom” sounds and my right ear has light frying/hissing noise in it. Also, on occasions, in my left ear there is a loud screeching sound and when I pop my ear the noise goes away.

According to my doctor, I should be experiencing hearing problems if I have tinnitus; however, I have had  two hearing tests and my hearing is quite good - I can hear a pin drop.  The doctor has also stated that I probably have TMJ dysfunction because of the tenderness in my jaw bone areas.  Since tinnitus has become your lifetime work, what suggestions do you have?  I really need some serious help.

Please help!

Martha D.

Dear Martha,

The majority of people with tinnitus have it due to a degree of hearing loss. However, not everyone with tinnitus has hearing loss. There are many conditions that contribute to tinnitus. Your mention of screeching sounds that stop when you pop your ears indicates you may have Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD). This occurs when the Eustachian tube is not functioning properly. It can be caused by sinus problems, colds and flu, allergies and other conditions that cause the Eustachian tube to become blocked.

I recommend you consult an Ear, Nose & Throat physician about this. Typical treatments involve a prescription nasal spray and an antihistamine. The great majority of cases are cleared up.

TMJ dysfunction is the other possibility here. This occurs when the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which hinges the jaw into the skull, is knocked out of place. Tenderness in the jaw areas is one symptom of this as is tinnitus. The good news is TMJ can be treated and tinnitus caused by it is almost always improved. Treatment therapies are all painless and non-invasive. I recommend you see a TMJ specialist in your area. One can be found at the link at the bottom of our article on TMJ.

Please investigate both of these conditions. I feel you have a high degree of improving your condition with treatment for one or both of these.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Crying uncle…after a bad night’s sleep

Dear Barry,

I have bought the Tinnitus Combo Pack for my uncle. But after 10 days he had a very bad night, he could not sleep because of the noise he had inside his head.

What do you recommend in this case?

Thank you in advance,

Maria Robles

Hi Maria,

Sleeping can become very difficult for those with tinnitus. It used to wake me up from a dead sleep in the middle of the night so I can sympathize with your uncle.

He must continue the Combo Pack until finished before he can determine how helpful it will be for him. In the meantime there are several strategies to use to help him sleep better. One of the best for tinnitus sufferers is the use of a bedside sound generator. These can be found in most department stores, are very inexpensive, and generate several different sounds of moving water, from crashing surf to bubbling creek to falling rain. It has been known for a couple of decades that the sound of moving water is the best way to mask tinnitus. It helps cover the tinnitus sounds and is also very relaxing. Ask your uncle if he notices his tinnitus when he’s in the shower. If the answer is no, it will be effective for him.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for all of us but more so for those with tinnitus. If they don’t sleep well they end up exhausted, with reduced energy reserves and worse tinnitus. I recommend ensuring a good night’s sleep using almost whatever method works. Vigorous exercise is very helpful and will also help reduce stress and tinnitus. Even a walk in the evening can make the difference.

Melatonin has been shown in clinical studies to be very helpful for people with tinnitus. Recently we created Arches Tinnitus Sleep Formula due to the numerous customer comments about their difficulty both getting to and then staying asleep. Our Sleep Formula is a 10 mg timed-release formula, that taken an hour before bed will make falling asleep easier and then allow one to maintain that sleep throughout the night without feeling groggy the next day.In cases where this doesn’t help, I recommend a sleeping pill or even a prescription medication like Klonopin or Xanax. Try the other methods first but if they’re not effective, get your uncle to a doctor for help.

Hopefully our tinnitus products along with the Sleep Formula will reduce his tinnitus and his sleeplessness will be a thing of the past.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Aspirin for Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Can taking low dose aspirin, (75 mg gastro-resistant tablets) help against pulsatile tinnitus? I have tinnitus constantly, and on top of this, I experience pulsatile tinnitus usually at night.

I also take one 50 mg doxycycline daily to manage rosacea, would this medication, which I have been taking for three years, have an effect on my tinnitus? I am 66 years of age. I have seen an ENT specialist, had a CT scan and have been told that nothing can be done, and the pulsatile tinnitus is most likely due to hardening of an artery near the ears.

I would be grateful for any advice you could give me.

Kind regards,

Graham H. Dorset, UK.

Dear Graham,

Low dose aspirin could be helpful for pulsatile tinnitus. The mechanism of action would be to thin the blood and make the pulsing less noticeable. Another product that does this is Arches Tinnitus Formula, which we produce. We have heard numerous accounts that it has helped pulsatile tinnitus. It is also helpful for continuous tinnitus.

Doxycycline can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. It doesn't do this to everyone but does have the capacity to do so. If you feel it is worsening yours, you should contact your doctor.

It sounds as though your ENT is guessing. Arteriosclerosis is certainly one possibility but there are many others. Essentially, pulsatile tinnitus is caused by turbulent blood flow in the artery close to the cochlea. Please read our article on Pulsatile Tinnitus. The specialist to see for this condition is a vascular surgeon. Once the direct cause of the pulsing can be determined, it is frequently very treatable.

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.