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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - August 2015

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.

Tinnitus expert Bary Keate

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

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“Guarantees” for Tinnitus, and the value of Maskers

Dear Barry,

I have had tinnitus for about 2 years now and have tried several advertised over-the-counter medications which were “guaranteed” to help, but did nothing. Also I have been wearing ear maskers for about 6 months and the same story, they do not help. So what is your reply to this situation?

Thank you, Neil J.

Dear Neil,

There are many products which claim to cure tinnitus but unfortunately there is no cure. An advertised guarantee is meaningless as market research shows only 1-2% of people will demand their money back. Also some less scrupulous competitors advertise a guarantee but never actually honor it. We don't offer one because our product doesn't work for everyone but it does work for most. We chose to take the more ethical position and admit that rather than make a phony guarantee.

So I believe the best course is to follow the science, not the marketing. There is solid scientific evidence that Ginkgo biloba is helpful for people with tinnitus. Arches has developed a more highly concentrated extract of Ginkgo biloba that is designed for people with tinnitus, called Ginkgo Max 26/7. Depending on the cause of your tinnitus, we see success rates of 75% to 80% in those who have tinnitus due to noise exposure and hearing loss, the largest cause, by far, of tinnitus cases.

Please see an overview of 19 clinical studies on Ginkgo biloba for tinnitus. Not one of our competitors can offer this degree of scientific backing for their products.

Tinnitus maskers can be helpful for some. And as you know, they can be fairly expensive. I’ve never used one, but a number of our customers have had success using our products in tandem, in order to attack their tinnitus on several fronts. You can read more on Masking Devices for Tinnitus in our Tinnitus Research Library.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Tinnitus Ecstasy?

Hi Barry,

The few times I've taken MDMA I've noticed that as soon as it kicked in my tinnitus stopped. Just like that. For the duration of the "trip" I experienced total quiet instead of the constant ringing in my right ear. So what I'm wondering is if anyone is working on synthesizing whatever is responsible. I mean, you can't take MDMA every day for your tinnitus but there must be some active element/molecule or whatever that could be fashioned into something you could take every day.

Thanks, Murray

Dear Murray,

MDMA is a synthetic drug, commonly referred to as Ecstasy or XTC. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria and emotional warmth and is frequently used during parties or "Raves." It has similar effects to those of cocaine or amphetamines. I agree with you, it would be deleterious, to say the least, to use this drug as an ongoing treatment for tinnitus…ever.

I have seen numerous references to the fact that MDMA temporarily cures tinnitus. When it is metabolized by the body, the tinnitus returns. There are other compounds that do the same thing. Lidocaine is one of them; it will totally suppress tinnitus for several hours but it always returns when the Lidocaine leaves the body.

I don't think that there is the possibility of refining Ecstasy to something that can be taken as a permanent cure for tinnitus. They body metabolizes it in about 3-6 hours and all effects of it are gone, except for the hangover. Symptoms include confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving and anxiety.

Wishing you quiet times, Barry Keate

Will Arches help TMJ Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

Do any of your products help with postural or TMJ caused tinnitus?

Thanks, Howard W.

Dear Howard,

Our products may be helpful for this condition but you should have some direct therapy for it. Postural and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) caused tinnitus are part of somatic tinnitus. This is when signals from the body interfere with auditory signals in the brain and cause or worsen tinnitus. It is totally different from tinnitus caused by noise exposure or hearing loss. If the cause of the somatic tinnitus can be determined, it can be treated.

One of the main causes of somatic tinnitus is spasm in the sternocleidomastoid muscle. This is the large muscle on both sides of the neck that helps rotate the head. Spasm in this muscle will cause tinnitus. The other main cause is TMJ, which you mention. TMJ is caused by the misalignment of the skull and jaw at the temporo-mandibular joint. This is the joint where the jaw hinges onto the skull.

Either of these can cause tinnitus and both are treatable. Most treatment options include relaxing the muscles in the area causing the somatic reaction.  Please read our article on somatic tinnitus for a fuller understanding of the condition. Also, make sure to click on the TMJ dysfunction link which will take you to another article specifically dealing with TMJ. There are many treatment options for this and most are painless and non-invasive.

In both cases, Arches Tinnitus Formula can be a helpful co-treatment for the conditions. ATF increases blood flow and will help the affected muscles and clear toxins from them that are caused by the continued stress. It can also help heal the damage in the ear and reduce tinnitus.

Sincerely, 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.