Hyperacusis is a condition that can prove debilitating in some people. Symptoms of hyperacusis are evident when normal, everyday sounds appear overly loud, often resulting in a painful sensation. There is debate regarding an accurate estimate of hyperacusis, although it is thought that between 2%-9% of the adult population have hyperacusis to some degree. Thankfully, we at the Harley Street Hearing clinic offer various forms of hyperacusis treatment options. If you suspect you might have hyperacusis or are you are experiencing any form of discomfort, please call us today on 0207 486 1053.
Hyperacusis: Hypersensitive Hearing Causes
Hyperacusis can arise due to the way that the brain’s central auditory processing centre perceives noise.
It is not uncommon for people with tinnitus to also have hyperacusis, however it is possible to have hyperacusis without experiencing any tinnitus.
Whilst the direct reasons for hypersensitive hearing remain relatively unknown, there is a strong association with the following possible causes: repeated or sudden exposure to loud noise, natural ageing, head injury, and mood and wellbeing. Though there are no tests for diagnosing hyperacusis, in clinic we use a combination of medical history, reported questionnaires, and sensitivity testing to identify and address the symptoms that arise from the condition. Individuals with hyperacusis experience it differently: this can range from a minor annoyance for some, to a far more life changing condition for others as they find the hyperacusis disrupts their quality of life. This can occur when hyperacusis stops a person from engaging in their routine daily activities, from engaging in pleasurable leisure activities, if it leads to social isolation, phonophobia (fear of normal sounds), and depression. If you are concerned about your tolerance to noise or are experiencing any communication difficulties our highly qualified Hearing Therapists are here to help.
Hyperacusis Ear Plugs
There are various factors to take into account when considering ear plugs to manage hyperacusis. We can advise you of the best action to take to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. The human auditory system has a remarkable range, with each and every person experiencing this in their own way. When sound gets loud enough, it will result in physical pain in anyone, regardless of whether they suffer from hypersensitive hearing or not. This occurs at a level of roughly 120dB, which is comparable to a plane taking off. We generally reach a point of discomfort where we feel that sound is too loud long before we reach the threshold of pain. This can also be affected by a person’s mood, or other factors related to the context in which they hear it. Hyperacusis occurs when this threshold of discomfort is much lower. We offer custom made hearing protection for loud noise exposure, and ear plugs for sleeping, which can enable those with hyperacusis to live with a better quality of life.
Although some people with hyperacusis say that they feel more sensitive to sound, it is not always impactful to their everyday life. Others, unfortunately, experience sound in such a way that makes it difficult for them to concentrate, creating tension and negative emotions. The management of hyperacusis usually involves the treatment of any medical conditions associated with the condition and management of the symptoms. These can vary from person to person, although counselling, and often the use of sound therapy and custom-made ear protection may help.
Whilst there is no known cure for hyperacusis, current research 1 shows that the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an effective tool for the management of hyperacusis and related symptoms. Custom made ear protection is another tool that can be considered, however, this should not be used for normal day-to-day activities, as it will not help with learning to manage hyperacusis in the long term. There are exceptions for this of course, such as when you experience noise at work– at a location such as a building site- or when riding a motorbike-which emits a louder than tolerable sound. We can offer the best advice when it comes to hyperacusis therapies, so you can manage the condition.
Contact Us Today About Hyperacusis
Speak with us today so we can get to the route of your hypersensitive hearing; we are always happy to help. To find out more about how we can help you with specialised, expert hyperacusis advice and to book in your Hearing Therapy consultation, please call us today on 020 7486 1053 or complete the form below.