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Aster's avatar

Can dogs barking give you lifetime tinnitus?

Asked by Aster (14900 points ) March 30th, 2013

It’s January of ‘09 and we moved into this house. I have an office with carpet, three walls and a wall of windows. My ears are fine.
Very quickly, the dogs noticed they could sit in a chair by the windows and bark very loudly at passersby. My ears began ringing and now, in 2013, they ring 24 hours per day but I have no hearing loss. My hearing is incredible.
The dogs caused this tinnitus and it’s permanent, right?

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6 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

See an Ear, Nose and Throat MD. Tinnitus is caused by many things, some of them mysterious. Who can say whether the dogs are responsible. That is irrelevant now

You need to ask the doc about treatment or at least palliatives. How presumptuous (not to mention dangerous) of us it would be to give you a diagnosis or treatment suggestions.

Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say:

“Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tus) is noise or ringing in the ears. A common problem, tinnitus affects about 1 in 5 people. Tinnitus isn’t a condition itself — it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.

Although bothersome, tinnitus usually isn’t a sign of something serious. Although it can worsen with age, for many people, tinnitus can improve with treatment. Treating an identified underlying cause sometimes helps. Other treatments reduce or mask the noise, making tinnitus less noticeable.

hearkat's avatar

I typed a reply and when I hit Answer, I got kicked off Fluther… frustrating.

Unless your hearing has been evaluated by an Audiologist in a sound-treated room within the last 6 months, you have no way of knowing that your hearing is “incredible”. As Gail said, that is the first step. You can combine that with an ENT visit to further asses your medical and pharmaceutical history. Your pharmacist can also review your medications and supplements to see if any – or a combination – might be contributing.

A dog’s bark can be very loud, but it is a transient sound, and noise damage results from a combination of loudness and duration of exposure. How many hours are you in that environment daily?

Chances are, there is the start of some age-related changes in hearing and perhaps other medical/pharmaceutical factors contributing to your tinnitus, and it is exacerbated by the barking. If you are unable to train the dogs yourself, you may want to consult someone who works with obedience training.

Aster's avatar

The reason I believe my hearing is incredible is I can hear very, very quiet sounds the dogs are hearing. I can hear my s/o breathing in other rooms of the house.

gailcalled's avatar

There are subtleties along the spectrum of hearing loss… often dependent on frequency. Each ear can be different also.

Why not see the ENT and his audiologist instead of asking us the same question again? Is this such an unreasonable answer?

Pachy's avatar

Maybe, but for sure it’s nerve-shredding. Try returning the favor with one of those high-pitch whistles.

Rarebear's avatar

This I’ll answer. Any constant repetitive loud noise can cause high frequency hearing loss and possibly tinnitus.

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