September 12, 2019

Are you sensitive to sounds and noises that don’t seem to bother anyone else? Are certain pitches unbearable to you? If so, you may suffer from some degree of hyperacusis. Hyperacusis is a disorder in which the affected person has is very sensitive to sounds in the normal range of pitch and volume. If the case is severe, even normal, everyday noises like a dog barking or a voice over a speaker system may be painful.

Hyperacusis can be very limiting, because normal activities and events may become unbearable. This can make it hard to live an ordinary life.

Hyperacusis may develop from ear discomfort or tinnitus, making the sufferer progressively more sensitive to background noise and other surrounding sounds. As a result, people who suffer from hyperacusis can become isolated, angry, depressed or highly anxious. They may have panic attacks and mood swings, which result in a pounding heart and sweating.

Hyperacusis Causes

Hyperacusis has no verified cause, but it is associated with tinnitus. It has been found that approximately half of the people who have tinnitus eventually develop some form of hyperacusis. Not every sufferer of hyperacusis had tinnitus, however. Other unconfirmed links have been found with auto-immune disorders, autism and birth defects. Physical trauma like a car accident, sports injury or other shock to the body is the most commonly associated origin of hyperacusis.

Hyperacusis Treatment Options

As of now, hyperacusis is incurable, but treatment options can manage it.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, can help patients manage with the ways noise is processed and handled. This therapy can also teach them how to avoid tense situations.

Noise Desensitization is usually applied when Cognitive Behavioral Therapy doesn’t work well for the patient. Noise desensitization changes the way a person perceives sounds and noises by exposing the sufferer to controlled sounds using a noise generator.

Therapy to deal with the distress and  depression that results from noise sensitivity can also be done. Counseling, relaxation techniques and other methods may be applied during these sessions, which help the patient to manage the response to the sensitivities and avoid social isolation.

The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.

Diablo Hearing Services   2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106   San Ramon (925) 394-4646

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