Hyperacusis – What Is It And How Is It Treated.

Hyperacusis is a rare hearing disorder that causes sounds which would otherwise seem normal to most people to sound unbearably loud. People who suffer from it may even find normal environmental sounds to be too loud. Individuals with it may find a car engine, dishes clanking, rustling of paper, or even loud conversation uncomfortable enough to avoid such situations.

Many people with hyperacusis have normal hearing. The disorder can occur in one or both ears and is often accompanied by tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear). The Hyperacusis Network reports that 1 in 50,000 people have hyperacusis and that 1 in 1,000 people who have tinnitus have it as well. Most patients also experience inner ear pain or a feeling of fullness (pressure) in the ears.  This pressure in the ears can best be described as the feeling one normally gets when descending in an airplane.  Hyperacusis can be devastating to the patient’s career, relationships, and peace of mind. Finding the proper diagnosis is difficult because few doctors understand what it is. At Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ our Licensed Hearing Aid Specialist understands what hyperacusis is and how debilitating it can be, as well as the available treatment options.

Causes

Some first develop hyperacusis in one ear, but in most cases both ears ultimately become affected. It can come on slowly or suddenly. Some patients say they developed hypersensitivity to sound over a period of time. Others may come down with it suddenly by attending a rock concert, firing a gun, air bag deployment in their car, fireworks or any extremely loud sound. Other causes may include:

  • Job related noise exposure
  • Drugs
  • Lyme Disease
  • Menier’s Disesase
  • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
  • Head injury
  • Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome (SCDS)
  • Postoperative surgery
  • Autism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Depression

If you are experiencing hyperacusis or tinnitus, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™  today at 772-286-4327 and schedule your FREE comprehensive hearing screening with our Board Certified Hearing Aid And Tinnitus Specialist.

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