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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got my Volt a few months ago and have been loving it. I've driven from Texas to California and from Texas to Wash DC, and have over 10,000 miles already :) Around the time I got my Volt I started to notice that I was hearing a high pitched ringing noise in my ears, and am hearing it 24/7 now. I didn't go to any loud concerts (around the time the ringing started), nor did I shoot guns or any other ear intensive activity. So the only thing I can think of is that maybe there is some high pitched noise that the Volt is emitting? I read this thread gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?12888-Electrical-Noise-and-Premium-Fuel , where people talked about a sound emitted during low-speed accel/decel (which I can hear), as well as another high-pitched noise that is emitted all of the time (which I cannot hear). Its this second noise that has me worried.

Anyway, I've been to the doctor and they haven't been able to figure out whats causing the ringing. I seriously doubt the Volt has anything to do with my problem, but at this point I don't know what else to do, so I figured I would make a post and see if anyone else has experienced a similar problem (while driving their Volt or 24/7 ringing even when not in their Volt).

Edit: By the way, I'm 27 and shouldn't be having problems with tinnitus at my age.
 

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I have a bit of that, so I would not even notice. I do hear the very mild, gentle electric motor whir at low speed. Almost imperceptible. Nothing after that. The tires or radio would smoother it.

I'm sure you DR has listed all the possible causes for ringing in the ear. If not, google will.
 

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Lowering the sound level you are exposed to will not cause hearing issues. The high-pitched noises are not loud enough to have a physical effect on the ear. It comes down to power and exposure length, and the power is just not there to do damage.
That said, if you have been exposing your ears to a loud cabin (what was your previous vehicle) and now you are not, your hearing may be recovering. I've noticed a definite improvement in my hearing since getting the Volt. I play the radio progressively lower in my garage now, while I tinker at night. I also hear noises outside the house and in the house much easier. I previously had commuted in a Tahoe Hybrid, Cruze and Cobalt. The Volt cabin, in EV mode (most of my driving) is much quieter than these.
When your hearing changes, you may notice things you did not before, such as a background ringing.
Nevertheless, you should continue to pursue the ringing with a doctor (only if it is really bothering you). Likewise, you may find that if you stop thinking about it you won't notice it. I've done that with the "floaters" in my eyes for 15 years...
 

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I have a service connected disability with respect to a phone, believe it or not, that was at my desk and rang with a high pitch so loud that it caused me pain. It took awhile before I noticed the damage it was doing and now I have a high pitched whine to listen to 24/7. It is only in my left ear (the side the phone was on). Unfortunately, the hearing tests could never pick it up, because the pitch of the ringing is apparently above what they test for. I have had the ringing since I was in my twenties. Most people think of industrial activities or loud music that causes damage to the ears, but causes are many.

With that said, let me tell you that I am 100% convinced that the only way your Volt is in any way related to your hearing issue is that it is so QUIET in the Volt, that the ringing becomes more apparent. Background noise always helps to mask the ringing and the Volt may have removed enough of that background noise that you are now keenly aware of the hearing problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
With that said, let me tell you that I am 100% convinced that the only way your Volt is in any way related to your hearing issue is that it is so QUIET in the Volt, that the ringing becomes more apparent. Background noise always helps to mask the ringing and the Volt may have removed enough of that background noise that you are now keenly aware of the hearing problem.
flmark, that is a good point, because I can't say exactly when the ringing started, just that I happened to notice it for the first time around the time I got my Volt.. Thanks for your response.
 

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Here are some things that can cause Tinnitus.

1) impacted ear wax
2) ear infections
3) hardening of the structures of the inner ear
4) hearing loss related to age or excessive noise
5) ototoxic medications, including aspirin, quinine, some diuretics, heavy metals, alcohol, and certain antibiotics
6) meniere's syndrome
7) head trauma
8) systemic diseases, including syphilis, hypertension, anemia, or hypothyroidism
9) tumors of the ear

I agree with others that the car is so quiet that you may be hearing the start of Tinnitus.

I have sever Tinnitus and it is not easy to live with. Have not found any real solutions for it.

Pat
 

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Curry,

Glad I could offer up something helpful.

Unfortunately, tinnitus is a chronic problem with little resolution. And it is made worse by thinking about it. Just since I read your comment, I SWEAR that my ringing got louder. It hasn't of course, I am now just thinking about it, with little noise to distract me.

Because it is so responsive to our awareness of it, just try to ease it from your mind as you drive silently in your Volt. Distractions are wonderful things for we chronic ringing sufferers. Sometimes, many days go by without me noticing my ringing. Yes, some noises will be loud enough to cause a hearing distortion in that ear and some things will even cause me pain [I am ready to make my mother in law's bird end up like Petey in 'Dumb and Dumber']. However, driving in my Volt makes my cares melt away and the hearing issue rarely comes to mind as the scenery quietly rolls by.
 

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The frustration with Tinnitis is how it can be caused from hearing damage at an early age. Gun fire in my 20's caused the damage, but the 24/7 tinnitus didn't show up for another 25 years. Wearing earplugs at concerts, dance floors, car races, and while shooting guns is important for everyone. When temporary tinnitus occurs with loud sound, hearing damage has occurred even though the tinnitus disappears. I'd be more concerned about listening to the radio too loudly than any other noise the Volt makes. To be sure, why not purchase a digital sound meter at Radio Shack and test the decibel levels yourself.

http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

While the first months of constant tinnitus are a major frustration, you can get used to it and relax. Tension and stress makes it worse, so try to relax and be proactive about any other causes as others have mentioned above. For me, reducing caffeine, salt, and MSG helped. But wearing hearing protection at loud events has been the greatest help to keep the tinnitus from rising to levels that some report can be at jet engine loudness!
 
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