When Normal Sounds are Painfully LOUD! | Hyperacusis

in this video I'm talking about the rare hearing condition called hyperacusis coming up [Music] hi guys cliff Wilson doctor of Audiology and founder of applied hearing solutions in Phoenix Arizona and on this channel I cover a bunch of hearing related information that help make you a better informed consumer so if you're in the bat make sure you hit that subscribe button and don't forget to click the bell to receive a notification every time I post a new video just take a second to imagine if common everyday sounds like a conversation with family or friends or something as simple as closing a door we're so uncomfortably loud that it basically made you try to avoid sounds at all cost well this is exactly what it's like to have a condition called hyperacusis according to the American speech-language-hearing Association hyperacusis is an extremely rare condition that causes some sounds that would otherwise be considered normal to most people to be uncomfortably or unbearably loud the hyperacusis Network reports that one in 50,000 individuals has hyperacusis and one in every 1000 individuals who had tinnitus also have hyperacusis just to be clear hyperacusis is not discomfort around loud sounds we would expect you to have auditory discomfort if you are exposed to loud noise it is also different from misophonia which is a strong dislike for a particular sound such as nails on a chalkboard or people chewing their food and a condition called phoney phobia which is a fear of a specific sound when it comes to sound tolerance a normal human ear can hear a wide range of sounds ranging from very soft sounds like rustling leaves to very loud sounds like a guitar at a rock concert you generally realize that a sound is too loud before it reaches a painful level and that comfortable loudness level varies from person to person most individuals with hyperacusis actually have normal hearing yet they still find common everyday sounds like car engine noise or clinking dishes in the kitchen or even normal conversational speech to be excessively too loud one major cause of hyperacusis is loud noise exposure usually one that comes in form of an impact noise like a gunshot or an airbag deployment if you're in a vehicle accident a few years ago a teenage girl named Cindy Redmond from Wilmington Delaware thrust hyperacusis into the national spotlight when her friend's stepfather blasted an airhorn next to her ear reaching sound levels around 130 decibels this resulted in debilitating hyperacusis for Cindy which prevents her from going to school or even leaving her house because common everyday sounds are so painfully loud that she compares them to being stabbed in the ear with a knife she does have a donation page to help find a cure for hyperacusis which you can find on hyperacusis research org which I will have linked in the description of the video now Cindy's case was caused by a sudden impact noise but you can also get hyperacusis if you have steady-state noise for too long of a period of time therefore it is absolutely critical that you wear hearing protection any time that you are in a noisy situation or that you would expect to encounter noise while hyperacusis is this over sensitivity to sounds that wouldn't necessarily be considered loud it can cause a variety of different cascading effects in other areas of your life in addition to the physical pain caused by sound individuals with hyperacusis can experience fear anxiety social isolation depression insomnia or a lack of concentration as a result for some individuals suffering from hyperacusis it may actually get better on its own over time but for other individuals they may require treatment and some of those treatment options are as follows first is sound therapy providing gentle auditory stimulation using hearing devices or noise generators could reduce your sensitivity to sounds over the course of time second is cognitive behavioral therapy otherwise known as CBT CBT focuses on restructuring your negative reactions to hyperacusis since hyperacusis is so closely tied to anxiety depression and even PTSD other experimental techniques include biofeedback other relaxation therapies and even acupuncture treatment for hyperacusis becomes even more complicated if you're an individual with hearing loss this is because you actually need to boost some sounds in order to hear them but you can't boost them too much to where they become uncomfortably loud in my clinic I've had surprisingly good success by fitting individuals with hyperacusis and here with hearing aids but the way that I do it is I actually fit them with occluding ear molds this is basically when you block off their ear canal so sound can't enter it normally this allows me to control all of the sound that goes into their ear through the hearing devices themselves by being in complete control of the sound that's going into their ears I can actually lower the maximum potential output of their hearing aids and only give them a little bit of amplification to soft level sounds and average level sounds over the course of one to two years I typically see their tolerance of sound increase almost to the point where they don't have hyperacusis anymore because this condition is so rare I only have a handful of case studies that have actually shown this but it does give some hope to individuals who do have hyperacusis and hearing loss at the same time one treatment option that is not recommended is the constant use of hearing protection while this may be a good fix for a particular circumstance you do not want to wear hearing protection all of the time this could actually recalibrate your brains perception of loudness and even reduce your brains tolerance levels even further what you really want to have happen is to have your brain learn how to tolerate these sounds again not just get used to the attenuation that hearing protection provides no matter what the treatment solution you should be working with a team of hearing care professionals who are trained and knowledgeable about hyperacusis and you have to understand the treatment will ultimately take time hyperacusis can be extremely debilitating but it doesn't have to be that way forever so if you suspect that you may have hyperacusis the best thing that you can do is to see an audiologist to get your hearing evaluated so you can get on the road to treatment to get yourself some relief that's it for this video if you have any questions leave them in the comments section below if you like the video please share it if you want to see other videos just like this one go ahead and hit that subscribe button also feel free to check out my website dr.

cliff AUD calm [Music].

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