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Tinnitus Library

Ask Barry Questions on Tinnitus - November 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. 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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How do I protect my tinnitus from harsh medications?

Hi Barry,

I have a sinus infection that hasn't responded to my usual round of Augmentin, and my physician wants me to start doxycycline or clindamycin, of which both are known to worsen tinnitus.

I'm currently taking NAC 1200 mg twice a day, along with Arches Tinnitus Formula (2 capsules twice a day), but still have a fear of losing more hearing and/or worsening of tinnitus.  In fact, my tinnitus level has increased just worrying about this.

Do you think that the NAC and ATF will protect me adequately?  Is there anything else that you would add?

The antibiotic regimen will be for 10 days.  If my tinnitus does increase while taking the antibiotic, is there a reasonable chance that it would go back down after finishing the antibiotic? This is a major dilemma, as you know for many of us living with this awful malady.

I highly value your wisdom and advice, and appreciate you very much!  I always look forward to your answers!  Happy Thanksgiving Barry!

Sincerely, David F.

Hi David,

Thanks for your question. It is very important and prompted me to investigate further.

You are on the right track. NAC and Arches Tinnitus Formula will help protect your hearing from deterioration and worsening tinnitus. It may be all you need but to make sure let’s add some extra protection to it.

Antioxidants are the answer to protecting hearing from ototoxic agents. The more antioxidants the better. I have reviewed a paper from the International Journal of Otolaryngology relevant to antioxidants that protect against ototoxicity. I will give a shortened version and what I recommend.

You should add to your regimen Vitamin C (2,000 mg), L-Methionine (at least 1,000 mg), Alpha Lipoic Acid (1200 - 1500 mg) and Ubiquinol (200 - 300 mg). All of these are found in local health food stores and are quite inexpensive except the Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is the active form of CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and is a much more absorbable form than regular CoQ10 which uses ubiquinone. I read a clinical trial where investigators stopped cochlear damage in laboratory animals exposed to ototoxic medications using CoQ10. It is a little more expensive than the rest but really worth it.

I would start on this regimen immediately and continue for at least a week or two after the last of the antibiotic is taken. This should really protect your hearing. If your tinnitus does seem worse, it will subside after a while. I have had a couple of run-ins with ototoxic meds and antioxidants have always returned my tinnitus to normal.

I hope all goes well and you clear up the infection.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

How much melatonin for sleep is safe?

Dear Barry,

I have been taking your melatonin since the time you launched your 10mg time release Sleep Formula with much success. However, it has stopped working about five weeks ago due to insomnia from work stress. I've done some online research and found that melatonin should only be taken occasionally and that long term use can make your body stop making its own melatonin and they site other warnings.

I just wanted your feedback on the 10 mg dosage, which is considered the maximum and if you can give any advice on how else to treat insomnia since my primary care doctor was only able to prescribe sleeping pills, which I don't believe in due to the dangers and dependency.

I much appreciate your feedback. Julio M.

Dear Julio,

You can read lots of scary stories on the internet. We had melatonin thoroughly investigated by Safety Call International, an adverse event and pharmaceutical toxicology lab. They produced a report for us and gave the thumbs up for it. You can actually take up to 20 mg safely.

There was some conjecture early on that taking a melatonin supplement would slow down the body’s production of it. But that assumption has been debunked. What really makes the body stop making melatonin is blue light, like that emitted from TVs and laptops. Laptops especially but also TVs should not be used in the bedroom before sleep. Melatonin is produced in the body when it is dark and blue light makes the body think it’s still daytime.

Melatonin can only do so much and work stress should be handled somehow. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. I recommend a good exercise routine after work but before dinner. Yoga is a great way to reduce stress and increase GABA levels, which calm the brain.

Wishing you quiet times,

Barry Keate

Allergies or Hearing Loss… What caused her tinnitus?

Dear Barry,

I've had tinnitus for years; every year a little worse. I have allergies, sinusitis and some loss of hearing. I'm going to get hearing aids this fall & I hope they help. I've just started taking your Ginkgo Max. Is it possible that ginkgo could make my tinnitus worse?

I'm hoping it helps even though I think most of my tinnitus is physiological. Best regards, Chris

Dear Chris,

Allergies, sinusitis and hearing loss will all cause tinnitus so we don’t know what the cause of yours may be. If it is allergies or sinusitis Arches Tinnitus Formula (with Ginkgo Max 26/7®) may not be helpful. If the tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, it should be helpful. An Audiologist can give you hearing tests that can determine the cause of tinnitus. If your tinnitus is at the frequency where hearing loss occurs, that is probably the cause. Please see our article on Hearing Loss.

And rest assured ginkgo will not your make tinnitus worse.

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.