Imagine being unable to deal with the sounds that are the hallmark of everyday life; living in a world where the volume seems turned up to eleven. This is what it feels like to suffer from hyperacusis. For most of us, typical sounds tend to melt into the background, but for those with hyperacusis, sounds like alarms, car noises, and neighborhood sounds can be extremely loud and sometimes painful, interfering with their ability to function normally. Many people that suffer from hyperacusis take drastic measures, like constantly using sound blocking headphones, just to be able to live their lives. Fortunately, with a great deal of patience, hyperacusis can be treated.
Because there are currently no medical or surgical options available to address hyperacusis, treatment is focused on managing a patient’s reactions to sudden loud sounds, as well as attempting to reduce sensitivity. Focused counseling can help a hyperacusis sufferer to develop healthy coping strategies for the times when the sounds of life get to be too much. Additionally, some patients may benefit from a treatment known as Acoustic Therapy. Acoustic Therapy is a type of exposure therapy that will help reduce sound sensitivity and work to reduce the negative connections the patient has made with loud noises.
If you suspect that you might be suffering from hyperacusis, your first course of action should be to consult an expert Audiologist like Dr. Kristen Keener at the IlluminEar Tinnitus & Audiology Center. Your Audiologist will perform a series of tests, including a hearing test and audiogram, to determine the severity of your symptoms and to find out what the best course of action may be to treat your hyperacusis. An important note to make during your exam is that while it may seem like you cannot hear as well due to your hyperacusis, most sufferers of this disorder do not experience any actual hearing loss.
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"No one else had given me as much real information about my tinnitus. The actual solutions she offered me were well thought out, and tailored to my lifestyle."
"Every aspect of my time spent with Dr. Keener was very rewarding. Her interest and attention given to my tinnitus condition far exceeded my expectations."