FAQ - Hyperacusis
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I think I have hyperacusis. I am in the process of doing hearing test with my doctor. My ear gets really sensitive when I listen to music.
What are some things I can do to make me feel more comfortable?

Hyperacusis is a condition in which a person is hypersensitive to sound. It is also known as Phonophobia, Dysacusis, Oxylacusis and Hypersensitive hearing. Audiograms for these patients are normal, but the sound tolerance threshold is below normal. The sound comfort level for a normal person is about 100 decibels. For a person with Hyperacusis it is between 40 and 50 decibels or lower. The disorder may be frequency specific. Usually it is the higher frequencies that are bothersome. Tinnitus (Ringing in the ears) is a common occurrance with Hyperacusis. It can occur alone or in conjunction with other disorders. Exposure to sudden loud noises can leave you with Hyperacusis for a period of time. Head Injury is another cause. Surgery to the face or jaw can also cause the condition.

Now relief from it can be difficult. Some doctors recommend ear plugs. You can reduce the amount of sound in your house by putting in plush carpenting and sound absortant draperies to deaden the sounds. This approach is supported by some and opposed by others. It is not successful over the long term. You will only become more sensitive to sounds.

A more consistantly supported treatment over the long term is sound desensitization. The therapy consists of listening to sound or music just below your tolerance level for several hours a day. Over time tolerance is built up. Then the volume can be gradually increased to where you can listen to sounds at a normal level.

You also need to get a physical to make sure there is not some underlying condition that is causing the Hyperacusis. It is often tandem to a disease condition, especially if it develops suddenly. It not as rare as some believe.  (+ info)

Any suggestions for dealing with hyperacusis?

I have hyperacusis and I think it's getting worse. It's getting really hard for me to concentrate in school and ear plugs make it worse. Does anyone know of anything that will help?

Have you ever had or do you now have Bell's Palsy? Have you had a head injury or a brain tumor? You should have a brain scan to make sure you are okay in that area. Migraines can increase the sensitivity. I would recommend seeing an audiologist or ear specialist for treatment.  (+ info)

Can my hyperacusis make my tinnitus worse?

im going to school soon, and im scared that all the loud noises which make my ear vibrate(hyperacusis) could worsen my tinnitus. is this true or not, because i dont want to be worsening my tinnitus.

I also have hyperacusis and tinnitus. And when I first developed them I had that very same question. And the answer that my ENT and an audiologist gave me is no. Tinnitus is usually caused by damaged hearing cells, and the only way to make the tinnitus worse is by damaging more of those hearing cells. Just because your hearing is more sensitive doesn't necessarily mean that your hearing cells are more prone to damage.

Check out my blog:
http://mylifewithtinnitus.blogspot.com/  (+ info)

Does anyone know anything about hyperacusis?

I have been having pain and discomfort due to everyday sounds. Especially the high frequencies. It all started when one night, I was very stressed out and listened to loud music at the same time. I'm recovering very slowly now and I'm able to tolerate loud sounds but there are some sounds that are in high frequencies that causes discomfort. I've also noticed that music sounds a little off to me as well. Nothing sounds "rich" and it sounds like the world has turned up the Treble around me. I also get a clicking or popping sounds when I yawn. I've visited 4 doctors and the first one diagnosed me with hyperacusis. The other ones thought it was something else such as a sinus problem. Can anyone help me out? Thanks for your time.

Hyperacusis is a health condition characterized by an over-sensitivity to all or certain frequencies of sound (a collapsed tolerance to normal environmental sound).

It can be acquired as a result of damage sustained to the hearing apparatus, or inner ear. There is speculation that the efferent portion of the auditory nerve has been affected (efferent meaning fibers that originate in the brain which serve to regulate sounds). This theory also suggests that the efferent fibers of the auditory nerve are selectively damaged while the hair cells that allow us to hear pure tones in an audiometric evaluation remain intact. Others feel hyperacusis is a brain processing problem specific to how the brain perceives sound.

Although severe hyperacusis is rare, 40% of tinnitus patients complain of mild hyperacusis.  (+ info)

Anyone tried at home auditory integration therapy CD's/methods for hyperacusis or auditory hypersensitivity?

I have hyperacusis as a result of sensory issues (no autism or anything, just genetics), and I really want to be able to enjoy things like my boyfriend's concerts, church services, movies in theaters, etc. As mentioned in another question, I have a massive neurological-based spasm/grimace (loss of muscle control) that occurs for just a few seconds when I'm around loud noise until I brace myself. This makes it hard for me to have much of a social life as a teenager.

I'm trying aroma therapy and pressure/massage therapy, but I'm seriously considering something like the Ease CD's. Does anyone have any experience with any AIT things you can do at home? I'd really like opinions before I invest my limited funds into this.

Most of the 'cures' for being hypersensitive to loud noises are very expensive and will undo themselves if you're exposed to loud sounds! Isn't that the point of curing myself-- to be around them? Anyone have any ideas?
Before anyone suggests it, I cannot wear earplugs-- they make me dizzy and actually amplify the part of the sound that hurts me. I think it's certain vibrations and pitches that cause the problem.

Also, I can listen to music very very loud on earphones (most of the time), so training myself to receive loud noises will not work as a therapy. It is not the loudness of the noise (though that is painful, I can deal with it)-- it's the spasming that comes with certain-pitched loud noises.

I've looked into Berard AIT but don't have the money... and as I said, it doesn't look like it will actually allow me to have a life even if I successfully complete it.
No hyperacusis gene to my knowledge. Others in my family have a lot of hypersensitivity to clothes, smells, etc., but I'm the only one with hyperacusis.
I do have SID, or at least some form of it, but insurance covers nothing because I'm 'too old'. I eat almost completely organic-- no food colorings, very few preservatives, very little white flour and simple sugars. I take acidophilus and cranberry extract supplements, and I think 80% of my food is 'fortified' with Omega 3 fatty acid and/or olive oil.

If money were not a factor, I would say to try Berard, or Tomatis, because what I have heard and read indicate that they are helpful for many people! My son had lots of sensory issues (sounds-and, like you, it seemed to be certain tones and pitches, rather than volume-touch,smell, etc.), but he also had PDD-NOS, which is a form of autism. He improved as he got older. I think that some of the PT things (like "brushing", "putting hands in warm water, then cold water", etc.) helped, and I think that some of the dietary and nutritional things helped. [ I wonder if you would see any improvement if you eliminated food colorings and preservatives, had food allergy testing done, and added probiotics (such as acidophilus), and essential fatty acids (such as flaxseed oil, or fish oil) to your diet?]Google "Sensory Integration Disorder", and you may find some helpful info. The book "The Out of Sync Child at Play" has lots of games for younger kids with sensory issues. Good luck!  (+ info)

Wats the treatment for hyperacusis?

I am pretty much sensitive to high sounds like gunshots, sudden loud sounds from stereos like the scary movie scenes and explosions.It often creats an involuntary trembling sensation in my body , which is quite embarrassing at public places. What is the way to gain stability to this problem?

I have the same problem, and I find cotton in the ears to be a better fit for me than ear plugs. With cotton, I can hear conversation, whereas I can't with ear plugs.  (+ info)

hyperacusis, myoclonus, SID, involuntarily shuddering on loud noises and going down hills?

I'm still trying to figure out why I shudder/spasm and grimace and want to cover my ears at loud music (normal by other peoples' standards) and when going down hills. I can't find ANYTHING. I feel really isolated and alone right now (normally you can find out about anything on the internet!), so if anyone know about this please speak up!

It may be psychogenic. Distracting/self-control works to a certain point, and yet it is a physical reaction. I tried listening to really loud (my standards) music for a few seconds, and I was tense, forcing myself not to tear the headphones off. I even had tears streaming down my face. It's just this stupid uncontrollable spasming thing that happens... I lose control at going down hills or loud music (they both feel the same to me, like my stomach is jumping) and spasm. Sometimes I even do it at the thought of music or hills! Anyone know anything about this? I've been researching nonstop.

Either neurological or psychogenic. Definitely see a neurologist. I am not sure of the neurological significance of hyperacusis, myoclonus or SID. Doesn't SID have a neurological etiology??

I would rule out neurological manifestations before entertaining psychogenic causes (perhaps, situational anxiety or a phobic response). Even in light of the fact that "distraction" helps ease symptoms doesn't necessarily imply a psychogenic problem. Part of the issue may be symptoms that have developed as a conditioned response to an unresolved underlying neurological problem. Symptoms masking (and as an effort to adapt to) other symptoms.

If symptoms are affecting your ability to function on a day-to-day basis and there is a wait to get in to see a neurologist, perhaps treating the symptoms might not be a bad idea for the short term. Desensitization training may help in the in term, maybe Ativan would help situationally?? Hypnosis could help as well (i.e., guided relaxation by an QUALIFIED professional)...

EDIT: You may also want to look up migraines with aura. Do you get a headache within 24 hours of these reactions?? Have you kept a diary of your symptoms?? Could be a good thing to do so that you can have a record to show the neurologist.

May want to look up aura without migraine, as well. Just anecdotally here, auras do not necessarily result in migraine. They sound a little like what you describe.

I know that migraine sufferers are often people who get 'motion sickness'. I also know that what most people *think* are migraines, aren't migraines at all.

You could also try posting your question in the "Medicine" section. Actual MD's, like Mdgreg C, who has answered your question above, can be found 'hanging out' in that section.  (+ info)

does hyperacusis make you more vulnerable to hearing loss?

Since hyperacusis is abnormal sensitivity to everyday sound levels or noises, I would think it'd make you less vulnerable to hearing loss, as you'd try to avoid subjecting your ears to loud noises. Nothing I've found on the net indicates that hyperacusis contributes to hearing loss, or that it tends to protect you from it. My answer was just based on a logical conclusion.  (+ info)

severe hyperacusis treatment?

84 year old male with severe hyperacusis and tinititus who can't leave the house and is in constant pain. Currently the only medication that he uses for it with very limited results is lorazepam.

ask for a second opinion  (+ info)

Can Hyperacusis (experienced by Bell's Palsy sufferers) ...be simulated ..?

can paralysis of the stapedius muscle be simulated in non sufferers, to enhance hearing difficulties ... ? i.e so they wouldn't need hearing aids?

Does anyone know of any research based on this ?

Well, my little cabbage friend, I can see you are fishing for an angle on this but surely the paralysis heightens everyday sounds and as such would be impossible to block out really loud noises. What do you intend to do about that doctor joe? haha.
Incredibly Intelligent question though for Yahoo. I would not expect anything less.  (+ info)

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