Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Background Noises

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Question
Hello Dr. Linton I have a quick question. When I am in a quiet soundproof room (like the one where hearing tests are taken)I don't hear any noise but when I am at home and hear ambient noises the air condition vents, outside noise, refrigerator etc. I hear a very high frequency/pitched consistent tinitus like sound. In other words I get tinitus with these noises. Do you know what this could be or what I can do about it? Is my only option to just focus on not hearing it? Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer
Joe,

It is unusual that you would hear the sounds only around other noises.  Tinnitus is usually most noticed when the person is in a quiet environment.  I would recommend that you see an audiologist and have your hearing tested and see if there is any audiological reason for the tinnitus.  You can try the over-the-counter supplements which claim to help but I find most people don't get much relief.  Also, tinnitus maskers (much like a hearing aid) can be set to perfectly mask your tinnitus and can provide relief.
You should be evaluated to try to determine the source of the tinnitus first.

Thank you for your question.

Kelley Linton, AuD
Doctor of Audiology

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton

Expertise

I'm an audiologist in private practice in Arkansas. I graduated from the University of Florida medical school. I specialize in hearing loss; hearing rehabilitation; hearing aids; noise induced hearing loss; occupational noise exposure; OSHA guidelines and regulations; hearing protection; tinnitis; newborn hearing testing; children and hearing loss and diagnosis and etiology of hearing loss.

Experience

I've been a practicing audiologist for 20 years and have owned a private practice for 14 years. I am also an audiologist in the United States Army where I teach DOD hearing conservation regulations and manage 3000 DOD employees at an army industrial facility.

Organizations
Arkansas Academy of Audiology American Academy of Audiology Academy of Doctors of Audiology American Speech and Hearing Association National Hearing Conservation Association

Publications
Journal of the Academy of Audiology Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, Arkansas Press Argus Courier, Van Buren, Arkansas

Education/Credentials
Au.D. - Doctor of Audiology, University of Florida American Academy of Audiology fellow member Audiology Board Certification American Speech and Hearing Association certification Arkansas State Audiology license-current CPT United States Army Medical Corps

Awards and Honors
American Speech and Hearing Association "ACE" award x 7 years United States Army Accommodation Award Arkansas Academy of Audiology elected board of director x 3 years Better community award, Fort Smith, AR for volunteer audiology service to free community health clinic

Past/Present Clients
Serving newborn to geriatric ages.....unable to provide specific names.

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