Do you find that sounds that used to sound normal now sound too loud? Do you avoid going to places you know will be loud because you feel that places like restaurants and social events to be uncomfortably loud? You may be affected by hyperacusis.
Hyperacusis is a diagnosis describing the symptoms of decreased sound tolerance; the personal phenomenon of moderately intense sounds being perceived as very loud and annoying. It can be caused by many things, and the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood, but there are effective treatment options!
When you are seen for a hyperacusis evaluation the audiologist will complete a full audiologic evaluation. This will include test such as pure tone testing, word recognition testing, and loudness discomfort level testing. All of these tests are necessary in determining potential causes and effective treatments for your hyperacusis. Once the testing is completed the audiologist will review the results and potential treatment options with you. These options can include: hearing aids, sound therapy, counseling, and more. It is important that you and the audiologist work together to find a treatment option that is going to work with you and your lifestyle. A treatment plan that is right for one person may not work for someone else.
Many people who experience hyperacusis have been told by physicians in the past that there is nothing that can be done. This is simply not true! Some patients try to self-treat at home with ear plugs, but this only makes the problem worse. It is important to be seen by a professional that specializes in this sort of treatment, as they can help you more effectively. Priority Hearing employs several audiologists who are well versed in hyperacusis and can help you if you experience it. Call our office to schedule an appointment.
Hyperacusis: Diagnosis, Mechanisms, and Therapy, Baguley & Andersson
The Consumer Handbook on Tinnitus, Richard S Tyler, PhD