Deafness/Hearing Impairment/Hearing loss


My husband of nearly 45 years has a hearing problem I am not familiar with Naturally, he won't see anyone about it. He has trouble hearing face to face conversations. This has been a problem for years and he attributes it to working around noisy machines when he was younger. I can understand that.

What I can't understand is that when talking on  the phone (landline if that matters) some sounds are magnified to the point of being painful. For example, the other day we were talking and I clicked a ball point pen. I could barely hear it a few inches from my ears. He said it hurt his ears so much he thought it was damaging his remaining hearing and he hung up on me. He says he will hang up any time I "do that to him" - meaning inadvertantly making a little noise.

Have you ever heard of such a thing and is there anything to help. I repeat he will not see anyone about the problem. Thinks hanging up on anyone who makes a little noise will protect his hearing.

One Note, he is 73, in very good health and has no signs of dementia or other health problems.


Jo Anne


Sometimes it is hard to explain exactly what is happening in the ear without an exam.  I know you said he won't see anyone about it, and that's a shame, it must mean that it doesn't bother him too much.  We usually seek a doctor's help once a condition begins to actually both us.

The phone doesn't transmit sounds exactly how we hear.  The phone acts as a filter and it manipulates the frequencies to help us understand better.  Most people don't realize this and it is really never an issue, unless the person has hearing loss.  Then the phone will cause unusual things to happen, such as what you are describing.  I can promise you that the ink pen clicking is not damaging his ear.  He may be hypersensitive to that sound, which would suggest he has nerve damage to the ear...but it won't cause more hearing loss.  Of course, the best recommendation would be to just avoid making that sound when talking to him on the phone.  

He really needs to get his ears checked.  Untreated hearing loss leaves a person up to 5 times more likely to develop it isn't just about hearing, it's also about keeping his brain sharp and processing properly.  Hopefully he will reconsider in the future.

Thank you.
Kelley Linton, AuD
Doctor of Audiology

Deafness/Hearing Impairment

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Dr. Kelley Linton


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.


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.

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

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

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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