Have you noticed that everyday sounds are louder than usual? Noise sensitivity is a rare condition that can come on suddenly or over time; if you have sensitive ears, it is possible that you have hyperacusis; it is best to see an audiologist, who specializes in ear conditions, to get a diagnosis. If you suspect that you have it, you can learn more here to understand it better and see how to treat hyperacusis.
What Is Hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis is a condition in which everyday sounds are far louder than usual; a person develops an unnatural sensitivity to sounds. It can get to the point that a family member’s voice becomes hard to bear at a conversational level. Daily chores such as vacuuming and stacking dishes can become painful because of the noise. It’s common to feel anxious or stressed due to the uncommonly loud sounds.
Types of hyperacusis are cochlear and vestibular. If it is cochlear, the person will be more likely to feel ear pain. If it is vestibular, one might also experience nausea and dizziness.
Do not confuse hyperacusis with recruitment, in which the person only has a sensitivity to certain loud sounds. With hyperacusis, all loud noises affect the person equally.
Causes of Hyperacusis
Doctors do not currently know exactly what happens in the body when hyperacusis develops, but the consensus is that plenty of different ailments can cause it. It can develop due to medications, a concussion, TMJ disorder, PTSD, and various diseases and syndromes, including the following:
- Viral infections
- Lyme disease
- Tay-Sachs disease
- Meniere’s disease
- Bell’s palsy
- William’s syndrome
Yet another reason, which is far more common in general, is ear damage due to loud sounds. It is just another reason to be cautious about high-volume noise exposure, which can cause noise-induced hearing loss.
How to Treat Hyperacusis
Counseling is a prolific way to treat hyperacusis, simply to help patients deal with the daily loud noise mentally and emotionally. This therapy helps patients reduce anxiety, fear, and the need to self-isolate.
Earplugs are useful for particularly loud environments, such as around lawnmowers, loud music, or crowds. They are not advisable in all situations, though, because blocking all sounds can increase sensitivity.
Sound therapy is the most effective way thus far to treat hyperacusis for good. Under the direction of an audiologist, the patient can slowly regain normal tolerance to sounds.
Trust the Experts at Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions
Need help with your hearing? Clarity Hearing can help. Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions is an independently owned and operated clinic that focuses on quality of care and personalized, friendly service to the surrounding areas of Ellicott City, Catonsville, Columbia. Our Doctors of Audiology are highly trained with advanced degrees and take the time to provide the personalized care and attention that you need and deserve. We provide advanced hearing aid options that are personally calibrated with cutting-edge digital technology to fit your hearing loss, your unique ear anatomy, and your individual listening needs.