Hyperacusis Information & Treament Methods
What is Hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis is a sensitivity or irritability to every day sound levels which can often lead to pain and discomfort.
Individuals with Hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating sounds such as the noise from a faucet running, the dishwasher, and the shuffling of papers. High frequency sounds may be particularly troublesome.
Causes Of Hyperacusis
Common causes of hyperacusis are head injury, ear damage from toxins or medications, Lyme disease, air bag deployment, viral infections involving the inner ear or facial nerve, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
There are a variety of neurologic conditions that may be associated with hyperacusis, including post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, Tay-Sach’s disease, some forms of epilepsy, valium dependence, depression and migraine headaches.
What Testing Do I Need?
Our board certified Otolaryngologist, Dr. Patrick Kane, will evaluate your symptoms. An initial consultation includes a comprehensive audiologic evaluation completed by our licensed audiologist Linette Perry.
Treatment for Hyperacusis
Sound therapy (similar to that of tinnitus therapy) may be used to retrain the brain to accept everyday sounds. Therapy can include the use of a noise-generating device worn on the affected ear or ears. The outcome of sound therapy depends on the individual and can take up to a year.
Hearing tests usually indicate normal hearing sensitivity and often register at minus decibel levels. This does not mean that those with hyperacusis hear better than others.
Relation to Tinnitus
Sometimes people who have tinnitus also suffer from Hyperacusis.