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 Hyperacusis

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 If you are one of the millions of people in the world who suffer from hyperacusis, this site may be helpful for you and your medical providers.

Hyperacusis is defined as an inability to tolerate everyday sounds.

It is also defined as a collapse of the normal range of hearing that is present in otherwise normally functioning ears.

People with hyperacusis may find that certain sounds are more difficult to listen to than others, and some sounds may cause pain in the ears, even when those sounds don't bother others. Often, the most disturbing or painful sounds can be sudden high pitched noises like alarms, bus brakes, silverware and dishes, children's screams, and clapping.

Sometimes, hyperacusis can be so severe that people begin to avoid any public or social setting in a vain attempt to protect their ears from any sounds. It can be very difficult for family members or medical providers to understand and support the person with hyperacusis, which cannot be seen in images, like a broken bone.


Hyperacusis can come on suddenly or gradually. It can initially affect only one ear but generally speaking, within a short time, the condition is almost always bilateral. It can be mild or severe. Often, people who have hyperacusis also have tinnitus, or phantom noises in their auditory system (ringing, buzzing, chirping, humming, or beating).


Adults and children can develop hyperacusis: certain birth conditions are associated with hyperacusis, including Williams Syndrome and autism. Since the auditory system connects the outer organs of hearing with the central nervous system, through a complex series of neural pathways, that literally pass through or coordinate with many diverse areas of the brain, there are endless possibilities for dysfunction that may contribute to hyperacusis. In other words, diagnosis is often extremely challenging and difficult to specifically locate a single structural change that is responsible for hyperacusis.


The billions of electrical signals that are processed by our central nervous system must be ordered and prioritized for our practical use. If you are reading a good book, and a bee stings you, the effect is dramatic and the primary activity instantaneously shifts! In the case of hyperacusis, detecting which of these billions of electrical or biochemical processes has changed is still impossible. But with proper, experienced, thorough investigation, coordination with all the medical providers, often a reasonable conclusion can be established for a particular patient.


The most common causes of hyperacusis are


Hearing Loss, Noise Injury

Head Injury

Acoustic Trauma

Adverse reaction to medication or surgeries

Chronic ear infections

Auto immune disorders

Unknown



By far, the most common causes of hyperacusis are noise injuries or head injuries. Neck injuries can also contribute, i.e., whiplash. There remains huge areas of medical scientific research and data accumulation that must be explored before we can really begin to define and understand the different types of hyperacusis, and the origins of this troubling disorder.
 potential adverse advent.