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verastrumolo

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello! I have been having some issues with noise sensitivity & when researching, I keep getting referred back to Hyperacusis, but I don't think I have this...I'm not sure.
When I'm in a room w/my family or out shopping, all noise really bothers me. Too many people talking, TV is on, kids running around, dogs barking, motorcycles passing by.
After a while, I really, really, can't focus or concentrate on anything.  When I'm in a situation like that, I can't even form a thought in my head hardly.  It's like my brain gets totally overloaded and I have to leave and go home where I can sit in total peace and silence.
I have NO ringing in my ears at all, no pain, no migraine headaches, so why does this happen to me?  Is it just because the world has gotten just way too loud for me?  I don't know and I don't understand, but I don't visit with my family too often anymore because I can only stand it for so long.  Does someone maybe have a helpful answer??  Thanks! 

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Vera Strumolo
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DrNagler

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Reply with quote  #2 
Vera, what you are describing sounds very typical for hyperacusis.  In the short term, if you find that you "need to sit in total peace and silence," please do not make it "total."  Have some soft music or a nature sound CD playing in the background.

Since you live in Iowa, I suggest that you make an appointment to see Dr. Richard Tyler, a Ph.D. audiologist with the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  He should be able to perform a thorough evaluation to confirm the diagnosis and then outline a treatment plan for you.

Hope this helps.

smn

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verastrumolo

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hello Dr. Nagler,
Thank you very much for responding to my post!  Well, when I do go home, I do watch TV or play a video game and that doesn't bother me.  When I'm by myself, it's OK.  It's when I'm around a bunch of people, all talking at once or there's too much going on at the same time, that my mind gets all jumbled up.  Or if my mother's dog starts barking, I get really upset and mad all of a sudden.

Well, I live in Des Moines, IA and I was wondering if you know of a doctor in Des Moines who I could visit?  If you do, I will make an appt to be tested for LDL(?) tolerances.

Thank you so much! 

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Vera Strumolo
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DrNagler

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Reply with quote  #4 
Vera, I'm sure there are good ENT's and audiologists in Des Moines - but I still think Dr. Tyler's your best bet.

smn

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saab1216

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #5 
I am curious as to how the sound bothers you. when I got hyperacusis it was so obvious because all sounds were loud and intrusive! Running water was painful.People talking sounded more like shouting.doors closing sounded like loud slamming and so on. With Hyp.,there seems to be a definite correlation with the loudness of things as opposed to being just overwhelmed.
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Paul H
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Marilyn

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Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #6 
Hello Vera,
My advice would be to go to the doctor recommended by Dr. Nagler.  Most ENT's don't know about hyperacusis because of it's rarity.  You will need a qualified doctor with knowledge of hyperacusis and treatment or you will be wasting your time and money.
Best wishes to you.


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~ Better days are ahead! ~
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catlady2323

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi verastrumolo,

What you are describing sounds more like you are having sensory processing issues like those who are on the autistic spectrum are prone to experiencing.  Those who are only very very mildly autistic (referred to as having Aspergers Syndrome) have brains that do not filter out unimportant sounds, so they experience noise, sound, movement, busyness around them as a jumble in their heads that they cannot sort through at the time.  It is very exhausting for them, and all they want to do is get away from the confusion so they can decompress and be able to think again. 

I have Asperger's Syndrome, and have hyperacusis, and find gatherings of people not just too loud, but also just too confusing in general for me.  I was born with both conditions.  I also do not have any pain in my ears, no migraines,  and no ringing.  My ears have been tested, there is no damage to the ears themselves, and my hearing is in the normal range.  But my Loudness Discomfort Level (LDL) is 50dB, whereas normal LDL's are 90-100dB.  So you can see that when confronted with what are normal noises to other people, these are too loud for me, and cause me anxiety, discomfort and downright pain if I remain in the noisy environment too long.  In addition I have found that I also experience sensory overload from any kind of busyness even in quieter environments.  It seems my brain can only handle a certain level of stimulation, and then it just shuts down and I have to be alone in a quiet dark room for awhile to decompress. 

Here is a link that might help.  See if any of the posts at this website sound like what you are experiencing:  
http://tinyurl.com/yf6wlr5

Best regards,

Sharon
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Rob

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Posts: 4,049
Reply with quote  #8 

Does someone maybe have a helpful answer??  Thanks!

Nobody can tell you whether you have hyperacusis over the Internet, but we can tell you where to go to find out if you do.  Hyperacusis can be diagnosed with a loudness discomfort level test and your own self report.  If it turns out that your tolerance of sound is below normal, don't worry.  Hyperacusis is a treatable condition.  It can be difficult to find a knowledgeable clinician and many of us have been to several doctors before we find someone who can help us.  I would take DrNagler's suggestion seriously.  In the long run, you will save yourself time.  Good luck.

Rob 

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DrNagler

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Posts: 218
Reply with quote  #9 
Vera, from your post (which is all any of us can go on), it sounds to me like you have a pretty straightforward situation that in all likelihood can be effectively addressed by a knowledgeable and experienced clinician, which is why Rich Tyler's name came to mind.

Could you have Asperger's?  I guess it's possible - just like it's possible that I have bone cancer because I woke up this morning with a little twinge in my knee.  But I'm not about to rush off to the osteosarcoma web site just yet! 

You know, if it's got four legs, answers to the name of Silver, and has a masked man riding on its back ... more likely it's a horse than a zebra.  Let's not start out with zebras here, OK?  :-)

Go see Rich Tyler - and be sure to give him my regards!

smn

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catlady2323

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Posts: 208
Reply with quote  #10 
It is possible to have BOTH  Asperger's Syndrome AND Hyperacusis.  And since neither can be diagnosed on a forum board, it is of value to consider the input from all those who take the time to post what is intended to be helpful information.

Sharon
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aQuieterBreeze

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Posts: 2,083
Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Vera,

You wondered-
so why does this happen to me?  Is it just because the world has gotten just way too loud for me? 

Can you think of anything that may have happened around the time you began noticing what you describe?
(For example were you around or exposed to any very loud noise?)

and you mentioned-
When I'm in a room w/my family or out shopping, all noise really bothers me. Too many people talking, TV is on, kids running around, dogs barking, motorcycles passing by.
After a while, I really, really, can't focus or concentrate on anything.  When I'm in a situation like that, I can't even form a thought in my head hardly.


Do you feel like no sound is really  in the background anymore, but all in the foreground?
Like it's hard to tune out other sound, to focus on anything?
Like everything in the way of sound seems to grab your attention?

and also mention-
Or if my mother's dog starts barking, I get really upset and mad all of a sudden.

Does the sound seem extra loud to you? Louder than it should be?
Or are you just upset and mad?

There are other challenges that can Very understandably go along with hyperacusis,
one is misophonia , which is a dislike of sound.........and another is phonophobia - which is a fear of sound,

The following website may has some interesting and helpful information
about hyperacusis and also about misophonia and phonophobia - as well as tinnitus
And their download page - (see the link in the left column)
has some articles and there are also  excerpts from a book available for download as well

http://www.tinnitus.org/home/frame/THC1.htm
The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Centre: home of TRT

Clicking the link in the upper left of this page that says "The Hyperacusis Network"  will also bring up some more information that may be helpful.
.
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DrNagler

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Posts: 218
Reply with quote  #12 
Sharon, that Asperger's website scares the living daylights out of me.  Yea, it's possible that Vera has Asperger's like you - but it's not at all likely.  Vera joined this board three days ago, and she's just beginning to look for answers.  Why frighten her?  What's to be gained?

smn
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catlady2323

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Posts: 208
Reply with quote  #13 
"We have nothing to fear, but fear itself."

This website we are currently using might also "scare the living daylights" out of those physicians with no knowledge of hyperacusis or tinnitus, who just think their patients need to stick with the treatments with which they are familiar and use in their practice. 

Aspergers Syndrome is by far more common than hyperacusis, although both conditions are in the minority. 

So Aspergers Syndrome would be the zebra amongst the horses, and hyperacusis would be the white zebra amongst the horses.

Sharon

p.s. Zebras are not frightened by associating with other zebras.  It was not intended to frighten anyone but to provide additional information that may show a more nuanced approach would be appropriate for Vera's challenges.



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Marilyn

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Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #14 
Dr. Nagler obtained his doctorate from many years of study.  He spent numerous years caring for patients.  Whether we agree or disagree with his opinion, he deserves the respect of his title.  Just my opinion.  Respectfully submitted.


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~ Better days are ahead! ~
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DrNagler

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Posts: 218
Reply with quote  #15 
Marilyn, thank you for the kind words.

The "WrongPlanet" site that Sharon has pointed Vera to does scare me - because I am concerned that it could scare Vera and others who might not be in a position to take it in context.

At the same time, I confess that I am drawn to one sentence that appears very prominently in the box at the top of that site.  It lends perspective to a few of the critical and offensive postings from the Asperger's community that have appeared on this board over the past days:

Asperger's can be described as an inability to understand how to interact socially.

I need not add that there has been absolutely nothing in any of Vera's postings even remotely suggestive of an inability to understand how to interact socially.

smn

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aQuieterBreeze

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Posts: 2,083
Reply with quote  #16 
To add to what Marilyn mentioned
The amount of people DrNagler has helped with hyperacusis, and also with tinnitus
also - speaks volumes.
As does the amount of time he has spent doing so........
Much of it,  from what i can tell - in the form of countless hours spent for no more reason - than the desire to help others.
And for no more compensation - than the good feeling it can bring when one is able to do that.

And about THIS website -
I have a feeling that  truly caring clinicians, and others as well -
that really want to help people with hyperacusis and perhaps tinnitus as well
probably browse this website (if they have the time) and are probably,
like most of us here, -  very  grateful for it.
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