This is an earful that nobody wants

Tinnitus creates continual noise, even when there is nothing to hear. Solutions are hard to find.

William Leighton heard hundreds, if not thousands, of fire alarms and sirens in his 27 years as a Bangor, Me., firefighter. But they didn't bother the semi-retired lieutenant nearly so much as the sound he hears now when it's dead quiet. "It's a metallic ringing," says Leighton, 59. "It's like the noise you hear when you stand under high-tension wires, but this is in my head."

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