Hyperacusis is oversensitivity to certain sounds. This condition is commonly associated with tinnitus, with about half of all people with tinnitus also experiencing “hyperacusis”. A person with hyperacusis has difficulty tolerating everyday sounds because they seem painfully loud, while others around them are not bothered. Current research suggests that hyperacusis occurs when the hair cells in the cochlea function normally, but a portion of the auditory nerve is selectively damaged. Damage to the brain or neurological system can also produce hyperacusis. Severe hyperacusis is rare, but lesser forms of hyperacusis make attendance at loud parties or live events difficult since the sound levels are louder than normal.
An audiometric evaluation and visit with one of our otolaryngologists is the first step in evaluating hyperacusis. Some of the same treatments for tinnitus also help with hyperacusis with the appropriate modifications by a trained professional.
Audiologists and otolaryngologists Dr. Rohn, Dr. Gamble and Dr. Kubala of Otolaryngology Specialists of North Texas are highly experienced and uniquely qualified to identify a wide variety of pathology and underlying medical conditions of the hearing and balance systems. If you would like to schedule an appointment with our office, please call our Plano office at 972-378-0633 or Dallas office at 214-239-1641.