Pain is your body’s means of delivering information. It’s an effective strategy though not a very enjoyable one. When that megaphone you’re standing next to goes too loud, the pain allows you to know that severe ear damage is occurring and you instantly (if you’re smart) cover your ears or remove yourself from that extremely loud environment.
But, despite their marginal volume, 8-10% of individuals will feel pain from quiet sounds too. This condition is referred to by experts as hyperacusis. This is the medical name for excessively sensitive ears. There’s no cure for hyperacusis, but there are treatments that can help you get a handle on your symptoms.
Heightened sound sensitivity
Hypersensitivity to sound is known as hyperacusis. Most of the time sounds in a particular frequency cause episodes of hyperacusis for individuals who suffer from it. Typically, quiet noises sound loud. And noises that are loud seem a lot louder than they actually are.
Hyperacusis is frequently linked to tinnitus, hearing problems, and even neurological issues, though no one really knows what actually causes it. There’s a noticeable degree of personal variability when it comes to the symptoms, intensity, and treatment of hyperacusis.
What type of response is typical for hyperacusis?
Here’s how hyperacusis, in most situations, will look and feel::
- Balance issues and dizziness can also be experienced.
- Your response and discomfort will be worse the louder the sound is.
- You will notice a specific sound, a sound that everybody else perceives as quiet, and that sound will seem exceptionally loud to you.
- After you hear the initial sound, you could have pain and hear buzzing for days or even weeks.
Treatments for hyperacusis
When your hyperacusis makes you sensitive to a wide variety of frequencies, the world can be like a minefield. You never know when a wonderful night out will suddenly become an audio onslaught that will leave you with ringing ears and an intense migraine.
That’s why it’s so crucial to get treatment. You’ll want to come in and speak with us about which treatments will be most up your alley (this all tends to be quite variable). Here are some of the most prevalent options:
A device known as a masking device is one of the most common treatments for hyperacusis. This is a device that can cancel out specified frequencies. These devices, then, have the ability to selectively hide those triggering wavelengths of sound before they ever get to your ear. You can’t have a hyperacusis episode if you can’t hear the offending sound!
Earplugs are a less sophisticated play on the same basic approach: you can’t have a hyperacusis attack if you’re unable to hear… well, anything. It’s undoubtedly a low-tech strategy, and there are some drawbacks. Your general hearing problems, including hyperacusis, could worsen by using this strategy, according to some evidence. Consult us if you’re considering wearing earplugs.
One of the most thorough methods of treating hyperacusis is called ear retraining therapy. You’ll try to change how you respond to certain types of sounds by employing physical therapy, emotional counseling, and a mix of devices. Training yourself to ignore sounds is the basic idea. Normally, this approach has a good rate of success but depends heavily on your dedication to the process.
Less common solutions
Less common methods, like ear tubes or medication, are also utilized to treat hyperacusis. These approaches are less commonly used, depending on the specialist and the person, because they have delivered mixed results.
A huge difference can come from treatment
Depending on how you experience your symptoms, which differ from person to person, an individual treatment plan can be developed. There’s no one best approach to treating hyperacusis, it really depends on finding the right treatment for you.