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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - May 2015

Do you have questions about tinnitus, our products or specific treatments? Ask Barry. Arches President, tinnitus authority and a person living with tinnitus, 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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Will an aspirin for the heart worsen my tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

New to tinnitus, 4 months. I read online that caffeine, aspirin and salt are bad for tinnitus sufferers.

I had heart surgery 10 years ago and have been taking 81mg aspirin daily. I have stopped taking aspirin.

Also I am getting headaches, what is best to take for a headache if not aspirin?

Thanks, Dan M.

Dear Dan,

An 81 mg aspirin is not going to hurt. It takes a lot more than that to aggravate tinnitus. Coffee may or may not be an issue. Most people who stop say it doesn’t change anything. Some say it does so you’ll have to be the judge.

The big problem is with salt. Salt constricts blood vessels, raising blood pressure and reducing flow. Salt can really increase tinnitus. If I have a salty meal, my tinnitus will increase for the rest of the day. You should reduce salt intake as much as possible.

The issue of pain relief for people with tinnitus is quite difficult. Please read our article on Pain Management and Tinnitus

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Tinnitus, Meds and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction

Hi Barry,

What a great resource! I've sought out help from a very accredited ENT facility in town and have not found it. I've had tinnitus since the early 1980s from noise-induced haring loss due to involvement in rock bands.

As I've aged, my body's ability to mask the tinnitus has greatly decreased, to where nowadays understanding my children's speech (consonants) is difficult. It is very frustrating and saddening to me. I also have issues with meds which I believe are increasing my T, and am taking measures to resolve this.

In addition, due to nasal problems and excessive use of Valsalva technique and single-sided nose-blowing, I have torn my right eardrum several times. Right-side ear infections have also been common.

My question for you is: I can gently thrust my lower jaw forward and to the right and cause the high-frequency input of my right ear to greatly increase. My understanding of speech is greatly improved when I do this, but it is a bit uncomfortable and I do not hold my jaw there for any length of time. When I described this to my ENT, the response was basically, "don't do that."

What is actually happening here? Do I have a collapsed Eustachian tube? Am I shifting the position of my middle ear mechanism? Or possibly changing my scarred eardrum's position to create better eardrum response?

Any help would be great, and would be a first.

Thanks very much! Scott

Hi Scott,

Thanks for your question. It’s very difficult for me to diagnose this from a distance. And, I’m not an ear doctor. I would hazard a guess that you may have a degree of conductive hearing loss as well as noise-induced hearing loss. It’s the conductive hearing loss you are affecting by moving your jaw.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when the sound is either blocked or not transmitted effectively to the inner ear. This can occur from Eustachian tube dysfunction, excessive earwax, damage to the eardrum or from otosclerosis, which is a fixing of the bones in the middle ear which conducts sound to the inner ear. This leads to an inappropriate bone growth around the base of the conducting bone. When the bones are fixed to their base, they don’t conduct as well. You can read about the difference between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss in our article Hearing Loss: An Overview.

You can also read about otosclerosis in our article titled Stapedectomy for Otosclerosis.

When you move your jaw you are re-aligning the mechanisms of the inner ear and their relationship to the Eustachian tube. This is improving your high frequency hearing. I cannot say what the exact action is that helps hearing but I believe this is encouraging. If you can find why you have conductive hearing loss, you should be able to treat it and have improvement.

Please note in the first article I linked to that an Audiologist can tell the difference between conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. I suggest you have an audiogram performed to look for conductive hearing loss. If you do have this, find an ENT who will work with you to determine the exact cause. Once found you can begin treatment.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Tinnitus Formula for Pulsatile Tinnitus?

Hi Barry,

I have had pulsatile tinnitus for about sixteen years now. I've never gotten it looked at, do any of your formulas work for pulsatile tinnitus?

Thank you,


Dear Victoria,

Pulsatile tinnitus is different from tinnitus caused by hearing loss. It is due to turbulent blood flow in an artery close to the cochlea. You are hearing your own heartbeat in your ears. This condition can be treated if the cause of the turbulence can be determined.

As it states at the end of the article, Arches Tinnitus Formula can be helpful in reducing the intensity of the pulsing. It thins the blood and reduces blood pressure, thereby lowering the turbulence.

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.