Hyperacusis can be described as a hearing disorder resulting in a greater sensitivity to sound, making everyday sounds, such as the sound of running water, appear extremely loud.
This could make it challenging to perform everyday tasks in familiar settings, such as at home or at work. It is also possible to be tempted to stay away from situations with friends that can cause stress, anxiety and social isolation due to exposure to loud.
Around eight to fifteen percent of the Trusted Source of adults suffer from hyperacusis. It is a condition that can affect those with Tinnitus or ringing in their ears.
Find out more about the signs and possible reasons for hyperacusis. We’ll also go over treatments and the way each one functions. For more information you can visit hearing aid clinic in mumbai.
What exactly is hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis refers to a lower hearing threshold either in one or both ears. It’s also known for its greater sensitization to sound.
The condition alters how you experience loudness. It can make everyday sounds, like those produced by automobile engines, appear incredibly loud. Even your voice could appear too loud at certain times.
The feeling of volume can cause pain or irritation, leading to excessive stress levels. It also makes it challenging to participate in public places such as schools or work. This could lead to the following:
- social withdrawal from social
- the fear of loud noises ( phonophobia)
Hyperacusis most commonly affects people who:
- Are you suffering from Tinnitus
- is assigned a male at birth.
- Are they older
The risk for adults to develop hyperacusis as the aging process is linked to this disorder. But, it is possible to be a problem for children too.
What are the signs that are hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis symptoms may vary. Some mild symptoms include:
- regular sounds sound to be too for the ears
- Your voice sounds too high
- difficulties in focusing
The severe symptoms can be a sign of:
- the pain of hearing loud sounds
- A popping sensation occurs in the ear when you hear loud noises
- Poor sleep
- anxiety about social situations
For children, hyperacusis-related discomfort can result in symptoms such as screaming and crying.
It’s important to note that hyperacusis is distinct from the fear of phonophobia which is that fear associated with loud noises.
Hyperacusis alters how you perceive sounds. Phonophobia is a mental condition that causes an emotional reaction to sounds. It isn’t related to auditory issues.
However, hyperacusis may result in phonophobia due to the perception of excessive loudness of certain sounds. Thus, both conditions can appear in conjunction.
What is the cause of hyperacusis?
The causes that could cause hyperacusis may include:
- High-frequency exposure. Loud noise can be a significant reason for hyperacusis. Exposure can occur over time (like listening to long hours of loud music) or be a one-time event (like hearing gunshots).
- Injury to the head. An injury involving the jaw, head, or ear may cause hyperacusis. An airbag is hitting an excellent example in a vehicle.
- Infections caused by viruses. Viral infections that affect the facial nerve or the inner ear can cause hyperacusis.
- The jaw or the face can be operated on. Hyperacusis can happen when the inner ear or facial nerve is injured after surgery.
- Certain medicines. Certain medicines, such as certain cancer drugs, may cause damage to the ear and hyperacusis.
- Autoimmune conditions. Hyperacusis can be caused by an autoimmune condition that causes it, for example, systemic lupus.
- Temporomandibular joint disorder. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower part of your jaw with your skull. The joint can be affected by problems. Increase the chance of having hearing problems, including hyperacusis.
- Autism. Autism or autism spectrum disorders can cause hearing sensitivities, such as hyperacusis. According to research from 2015, around 40% of children with autism also suffer from hyperacusis.
- Stress-related to emotions. High-stress levels, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can increase the risk of hyperacusis.
Sometimes, the reason is not known.
What is the process of diagnosing hyperacusis?
Consult an expert in ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist If normal sounds seem more pronounced than usual.
An ENT specialist may use one of the tests below to find out whether you suffer from hyperacusis
- Physical exam. A doctor will look at your head and ears for signs of physical injury.
- Medical history. This allows a doctor to pinpoint any issues or circumstances that could have affected your hearing.
- Questionnaire. The doctor will ask questions regarding your symptoms to determine the symptoms you’re experiencing.
- Pure-tone audiometry. This test evaluates the sensitivity of your ears.
How can hyperacusis be treated?
Treatment for hyperacusis varies based on the underlying cause. The aim is to control your symptoms and decrease your hearing sensitivity. While to prevent from this you can use a hearing aid and before that you can consult an audiologist or visit to the nearest hearing aid center.
The treatment options are identical for children and adults, except for surgical procedures.
CBT is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
When you participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), a mental health professional will instruct you on controlling your emotional reactions to the sound. CBT can also assist you in controlling the causes of hyperacusis that are psychological, such as tension.
Tinnitus Retraining therapy
Tinnitus Retraining treatment (TRT) is an effective treatment for Tinnitus that can aid in treating hyperacusis.
TRT makes use of a device that is similar to hearing aids. It produces a highly low-intensity sound that allows your brain to perceive the sound and the Tinnitus. As time passes, this could assist your brain in reducing its focus on the sensation of hearing Tinnitus.
The treatment can also be used for hyperacusis as it may help to decrease hearing sensitivity.
In sound desensitization, you are exposed to soft static sounds for a certain period each day. This is a process that requires the assistance of an expert in hearing.
This will eventually increase your tolerance for sounds. It may take up to six months or more to get improvements.
How can I avoid hyperacusis?
The best method to prevent hyperacusis is to treat the condition.
Avoiding settings with loud music or wearing earplugs isn’t advised. These techniques can increase the sensitivity of your ears to sounds and could make them more severe. Exposure to commonplace sounds is essential for normalizing the sensitivity of your ears.
The only exception is when you have to limit the noise briefly, like during an event. If not, you should not frequently use earplugs.