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JulieMay

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone

This is my first message here. I'm 23 years old.

I don't know if hyperacusis is what I have. But I'm really sensitive to sounds when I am in closed environments. The weird thing is that I don't have problems with loud traffic etc when I'm outside and I can also go to cafes. But when I'm inside normal conversation, television, radio etc is uncomfortable. 

I have had this for two months and my life is so affected [frown]

Has anyone else experienced this kind of sensitivity? I know that a lot of people recover from hyperacusis but I really need to here about someone who also recovered from this. 

I'm not sure how I got this. In september I was exposed to loud noise. In the following month there were a couple of times where I asked my boyfriend to turn down the music and asked my friend to speak a little lower. But otherwise I didn't remember feeling sensitive to sound at all/it wasn't a problem. But then in October I suddenly realised that I had some tinnitus. And after that the sensitivity problem just got out of hand. I started having a lot of pressure and pain in my ears. Now I only have a little pressure in my ears but no pain anymore. But sounds are just uncomfortable in my ears and head. It is so frustrating that I can't enjoy a conversation with my loved ones.  

Now the tinnitus is not a problem for me at all. But I don't know what to do about the sensitivity [frown]

Hope to hear from some of you!

Julie

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briann

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Posts: 141
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Julie,

Until someone more qualified responds,

If you move the conversation outside or to a restaurant does your discomfort subside? I'm wondering if the background noise is what is reducing your sensitivity. The frequency profile of what your exposed to from conversation, tv, radio may also be different from what you are exposed to outside. 

It would be a good idea to find an audiologist that will test your Loudness Discomfort Levels (LDLs). This may help quantify some of what you are experiencing. Even though you are not experiencing pain you may still have Hyperacusis. If you truly are able to handle louder sounds of similar spectral content outside, then perhaps you should look into Misophonia. There is treatment for both of these conditions.

-Brian
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Rob

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Posts: 4,049
Reply with quote  #3 

Julie –

 

Sorry to hear you have had a tough couple of months.  If you are not sensitive to loud traffic or to other loud sounds you hear outside, then it is unlikely that you are describing hyperacusis.  Typically, a person with hyperacusis is sensitive to sound which exceeds a certain loudness regardless of the setting. 

 

Your sound sensitivity, ear pressure, and ear pain should definitely be evaluated by a knowledgeable ENT or neurotologist.  A loudness discomfort level test will help your doctor determine whether you have normal tolerance of sound or not.  A significant percentage of folks with tinnitus also develop some sensitivity to sound, and in some of those cases the sensitivity to sound resolves on its own over time. 

 

By all means, please follow up with a doctor and let us know how you are doing.  I hope you get some answers soon.

 

Rob 

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Cheryl_K

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Posts: 101
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Julie,

None of us are qualified to tell you what care paths you should follow.

I know from experience that there are many kinds and causes of "hyperacusis" and tinnitus (what now seem to be catch-all categories).  Unless most of us have been very lucky, it is difficult to just do a google search or even ask for recommendations from other doctors or your insurance company.

Your sequence of symptoms is not unusual. I know at least one other person who had similar symptoms, in different sequences--me.

"Hyperacusis" is not all about decibels. Sometimes it's quality of voice, type of sounds. When mine began, I had difficulty with more than one person speaking at a time indoors, but could tolerate road sounds. I sometimes still have difficulty with both the television and someone speaking to me. By difficulty, I mean intense pain and, if continued, really bad tinnitus that does not stay confined to the injured ear alone.

When I am able to sit comfortably at the dinner table with family and friends (not too many yet, but growing in number each year), I sit on the side of the table with my injured ear away from the voices. My neice, an occupational therapist, figured that one out.

Between the two of us, we figured that the problem was with how multiple sounds were processed along the auditory pathways that were affected by injuries. Loud noises, some medications, etc., can also cause similar injuries. I am now convinced that the simple term "hyperacusis" was not my main problem. Maybe it's a subset of hyperacusis, which started out as having nothing to do with decibels, but quality of voices, and where the sounds were coming from. Many of us have also noted that acoustics can play a major role in how comfortable we are in a room when people are speaking.

Aside from my corrective jaw surgeries which caused more intense auditory symptoms for years, the next most painful procedures for me were the MRI's, hearing tests, and testing for tinnitus and hyperacusis. I have read other entries on this message board which described similar reactions to MRI's and audiological testing. Sometimes it all might be necessary. Sometimes it might not be.

Make sure you tell the neurotologist exactly what you wrote here--that you can tolerate loud noises, but it appears to be the circumstances, not the decibels, that cause the reactions.

Sometimes these things clear up over time--and by time, I mean it could be months or years. Sometimes audiological programs can be successsful.

It might be helpful for you to write out a detailed but short timeline before visiting the doctor, and offer it to the doctor along with the usual intake papers.

Good luck with everything,
Cheryl

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