If you are having difficulty listening to everyday sounds, you should get familiar with what hyperacusis is, its symptoms, and its treatment to get through this condition.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hyperacusis.
What is Hyperacusis?
If you have a very low tolerance to sound, you are likely to be suffering from hyperacusis. ENT specialists describe hyperacusis as an abnormal sensitivity to normal sounds, causing extreme pain and discomfort.
Having hyperacusis can severely impact your quality of life by disturbing your career, social life, and mental peace.
Even everyday activities like watching TV, socializing, and driving can be very challenging with hyperacusis.
Types of Hyperacusis
There are mainly two types of hyperacusis:
- Cochlear hyperacusis is the most common type of hyperacusis that can cause pain in the ear and make you intolerant to everyday sounds.
- Vestibular hyperacusis causes nausea and imbalance due to the presence of some specific sounds.
Both of these types of hyperacusis can cause you to become stressed, anxious, and depressed.
However, it is always a good idea to contact an ENT specialist to get a hearing test in Malaysia to ensure the condition is correctly diagnosed
Symptoms of Hyperacusis
Common symptoms of hyperacusis are:
- Pain in one or both ears.
- Ear thumping sensation
- A sensation of ear fullness.
You might also feel some dizziness or unsteadiness if you are suffering from vestibular hyperacusis.
Most people suffering from this condition complain about hearing phantom sounds like continuous ringing.
Such phantom sounds are likely to get worse if the condition is left untreated for a long period.
Causes of Hyperacusis
Hyperacusis can affect people of all genders and ages. It can affect your hearing ability in one ear or both of them.
Sometimes, people are also born with this rare condition. Hyperacusis can develop over a period of time, or you might get this condition immediately.
Some of the common causes of hyperacusis are:
- Brain injury.
- Exposure to extreme noise.
- Lyme disease.
- Ear damage due to some medication or failed surgeries.
- Severe migraines.
Autistic children or children with cerebral palsy can also suffer from hyperacusis. Medical experts have not been able to deduce the exact reason for hyperacusis.
However, most theories point to the fact that malfunctioning of the ear’s protective hearing mechanisms and damage to the auditory nerves cause hyperacusis.
How to Treat Hyperacusis
It is easier to treat hyperacusis if its root reason is known. For instance, if a migraine or Lyme disease is causing hyperacusis, you will get rid of the condition after the underlying disease is treated.
However, if there is no reason behind hyperacusis, the patient will have to undergo a comprehensive treatment plan designed by an ENT specialist after conducting hearing tests in Malaysia.
Sound therapy is one of the most popular ways of treating hyperacusis. A patient has to work closely with an ENT specialist in sound therapy to get desensitized to certain sounds that are triggering for the patient.
You will have to hear quiet static noises with the help of a device and gradually increase them to higher volume through the process of tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT).
Generally, sound therapy starts producing reliable results within six months to one year.
If the sound therapy does not work, the ENT specialist can ask you to do cognitive behavioural therapy because it can help you in reducing your anxiety while living with this condition.
How to Prevent Hyperacusis
Many different things can cause hyperacusis, and there is no one way to prevent hyperacusis.
However, you can definitely take some steps to protect your ears and prevent developing conditions like tinnitus and hyperacusis.
If you work in a noisy environment, you should use hearing protection designed as earplugs to protect your ear. They are also used in the military to prevent hearing loss.
An expert will be able to perform a thorough examination of both of your ears and give you the correct diagnosis to make sure you are treated in the best way possible.
Consulting a doctor or ENT specialist should always be your first priority while dealing with such medical conditions.