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Lisa_Davies

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Reply with quote  #1 
There were 3 very important pieces of advice I would like to give that helped me overcome my hyperacusis - 1) Relax your jawline - this is the strongest muscle in the body and tensing it narrows the tubes to you ears and can cause hyperacusis 2) Use of sound therapy to de-sensitise and 3) Do not stay in quiet or silence - this will make your ears more sensitive - always be exposed to some sort of sound during your waking hours.

I'm sharing my experience with you in the hope that it can help those of you suffering with hyperacusis. I am a very vigilant person and had already suffered from hissing tinnitus and 20-30% hearing loss for a few years and then started suffering from hyperacusis after travelling by car one day a few years ago. I experienced an imbalance in my hearing between my left and right ears, together with muffling, very loud tinnitus and sharp, intense, continuous pain. Looking back now I remember that prior to this I thought the coating must have come off my crockery or cutlery because it seemed that everyone in the family was scraping their plates and this was 'going through' me. I had also began to put cotton wool in my ears for exercise classes because the music seemed to be very loud and I was concerned, as a tinnitus sufferer, that my ears would be further damaged. The pain became worse over the coming weeks and became so bad that I paid to see a ears, nose & throat consultant in Harley Street. He thought it was stress related and said the best thing I could do was to try to ignore it. He also advised me to see a hearing therapist but, living 250 miles from London, it was months before I was offered an NHS hearing therapist appointment and about 12 months before I could get to see an NHS ENT specialist. Months passed, the pain got so bad that I couldn't stand the sound of most things, even a switch being turned on - I also found myself changing my own speech to avoid hurting my ears. It is very difficult for others to understand and no one makes allowances for you. It was more bearable outdoors because the sound could carry and, generally the bigger the room, the less pain I experienced. The NHS consultant told me it was caused by narrowing of the tubes and only advised me to chew regularly to open them up for relief.

The best advice & support I got was from a sympathetic NHS hearing therapist who explained the condition and recommended sound therapy. She also advised me that my ears were not damaged but that it was the way my brain interpreted the sound. At the time there was no way I could believe that my ears weren't damaged and that I was actually causing the pain myself - this was unthinkable, it just didn't make sense and I could not see a way of improving - it seemed like a lost cause and that I had permanent damage. I had to endured the pain and stress, did my best to carry on but also tried to expose myself to sound. Having a telephone based job, wearing head phones and struggling to hear with office background noise did not help and my employer, at the time, seemed to think I was making it up to get a transfer to a non phone based job! 

I found low base tones therapeutic as it was high pitched sounds that I found the most difficult to cope with - for example sitting next to a volume printer or oscillating fan at work (after changing my employer) really helped. A GP also advised me to download sound therapy apps to my mobile - I use 'Relax Therapies' app whose basic sounds are free - you could even place your phone under your pillow at night and play sounds.

I can still feel hyperacusis triggering from time to time but using the above measures helps keep it at bay. My very best wishes to you all, please believe that this horrible condition can definitely be overcome with the right approach & methods. Good Luck [smile] 
 



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Lisa Davies
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ybbest

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thanks for sharing your success story.
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DanMalcore

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Dan
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Reply with quote  #3 
Very good advice.  Thanks for sharing...

[wave]Dan

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"Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood, only today does the fire burn brightly"
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YellowFlowers

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'd say staying in silence isn't an issue for everyone, depending on your severity, staying in a silent room might give your ears a well-needed rest. And if you have pain-hyperacusis then your ears or hearing are probably damaged... Otherwise, the pain-receptor like nerve cells wouldn't react. 
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Aplomado

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowFlowers
I'd say staying in silence isn't an issue for everyone, depending on your severity, staying in a silent room might give your ears a well-needed rest. And if you have pain-hyperacusis then your ears or hearing are probably damaged... Otherwise, the pain-receptor like nerve cells wouldn't react. 


Sound therapy decreases hyperacusis pain for me.  Your results may vary.

The brain can trigger pain as well as the body.
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BA

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Reply with quote  #6 
thanks for sharing

i think it just confirms each to their own.

What is important is that we keep abreast of things others do to see if 'that' could benefit me.

if not, no loss.  Not knowing is worse.

Please, everyone keep sharing.

BA
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Lisa_Davies

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks very much, yes I agree you have to try everything to help overcome and manage hyperacusis and keep sharing ideas and experiences. I use background sound therapy now to prevent it re-occurring when exposed to quiet environments. This was recommended to me by a qualified hearing therapist who advised that, as part of our 'fight or flight mechanism', our ears expect to hear sound and become more sensitive if not exposed to it. I find it really helps and definitely notice my ears becoming sensitive if moving from being in an environment with no sound for a while to one that's noisier. 

I've thought of a couple of other things you could try too, if you haven't already - I practice yoga regularly and find the combination of exercise, correct use of breathing, low background music, the teacher's soothing voice and relaxation session at the end of the class excellent. Some classes are much better than others and I'd recommend trying a variety to see which is best for you. The individuals instructor's methods really make a difference to the whole experience  and I find a class where the movements, music and teacher's instructions constantly flow are best. If you can't get to a class there are some excellent yoga DVD's or Youtube videos. Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa are all excellent forms of yoga and becoming more and more popular and widely available. I really wouldn't like to live without it now!  If yoga's not for you try regularly listening to sounds or music whilst having any other form of therapy that's relaxing for you such as massage or refloxology. This was suggested to me by a psychologist trained in providing CBT for tinnitits sufferers. You could also mindfulness and/or meditation with background sounds.

I think the distraction of undertaking any activity can help ease the pain of hyperacusis but, when combined with sound therapy, it helps to overcome it too.  

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Lisa Davies
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EDogg

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Reply with quote  #8 
Lisa,

Thank you so much for sharing! What an encouragement to read your story. I am so thrilled for you. Your success story will be helpful to many.

Would you mind elaborating on what your ear pain was like? Was it immediate pain from sounds that quickly comes and goes, or the lasting type that can persist for days to weeks afterwards, or even occur without obvious provocation by sound? How would you describe its quality (stabbing, burning, fullness, etc.)? How quickly did your ear pain abate once you began to improve your sound sensitivity?

Thank you!
EDogg

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Lisa_Davies

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi, 

Yes of course, I'd describe it as a very sharp, piercing pain that was there most of my waking hours and sometimes during the night. I also experienced burning pain and it tended to start the day less painful and gradually get worse as I was exposed to more and more sound. For example, I may try to watch TV with the sound down really low so that I could hardly hear it but as the programme went on the pain would get increasingly worse. The smaller the room I was in and the less soft furnishings, the worse the pain would become. I would also feel the pain shooting up into the sides of my head and it was a pain that really made me wince and was quite debilitating. For some reason, which I can't really explain, I found the pain may ease for a little while if I moved to a different room until it then started building again. Almost any sound caused the pain but it was at its worst when exposed to any high-pitched sharp or sudden sounds such as the sound of china dishes being stacked, someone stirring sugar in their tea cup, opening of canned drinks, any word said which included the letter 's'. Everyone seemed to everything incredibly noisily and it felt really personal, like they were doing it on purpose to aggravate my condition! I would even have the pain when in silence.

I avoided going to places where I knew I could not cope and regularly plugged my ears with cotton wool. The best environment for me at the time was being outdoors. 

My tinnitus was most of time much louder than usual and I did also experience fullness too some of the time. I've been meaning to add to this website for some time now as I overcame the condition a few years ago but I had hyperacusis for at least 18 months the first time round. It gradually got better over a few months, I was free of pain for a few months and then, unfortunately, I relapsed. By this time, though, I knew that it was actually possible to be pain free so this made it easier to overcome it the second time round.

After suffering from the condition for about 15 months I also developed a balance problem after returning from a skiing holiday which made me think I was suffering from Menieures disease. By now I had all the typical symptoms except that my balance problem did not make me collapse, it was just like constantly being on a boat and I couldn't walk in a straight line. Despite seeing a neurologist, having various balance tests and balance therapy I've never found out the cause of my balance problem (which is ongoing but managed much better) but suspect it may be due to a problem with my left leg. Strangely enough, though, although at the time it was a very unfortunate co-incidence to have the balance problem and ear problems at the same time, the balance problem may have also contributed to overcoming hyperacusis as it was something else to stress about other than the pain and tinnitus!  

I didn't use any formal structured sound therapy but think sitting next to a volume printer whilst at work may have really helped build up my tolerance levels and from there I gradually exposed myself to more and more challenging sounds. This was over a period of a few months.

I don't actually know the trigger for my hyperacusis but I was holding a lot of tension in my jaw area and think was a major contributing factor. The reason for the tension in my jaw was probably my dry eye conditions which, having worsened significantly in the last 2 years, are now my latest challenge! If anyone knows of any really helpful sites/treatment for dry eye conditions, please could you let me know as I'd really apprecaite it.
Thanks very much and my very best wishes to you all.


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Lisa Davies
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EDogg

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Reply with quote  #10 
Lisa,

Thank you for sharing more details about the ear pain associated with your hyperacusis. Your experience with this and recovery are ever so important, as the pain symptoms seem to be some of the most difficult (at least for me) in overcoming this. Your story is another great example of how someone with ear pain associated with hyperacusis, or pain hyperacusis or noxacusis, whatever you want to call it, has been able to overcome it. Thank you for taking the time to share and providing such detail of which many of us can closely relate.

Best regards,
EDogg
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Big_Ray20

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi guys,
I am new to this forum. I have tinnitus and hypersensitivity to noise that comes and goes.

The hyperacusis for me seems to be linked with anxiety.

I think it was cause by a medication called naprosyn or swimming in polluted water, and possibly made worse by two severe panic attacks over two nights.

I am coming off an anti-depression medication mirtazipine which I have been on since the tinnitus and hyperacusis. The mirtazipine was quite good at masking the symptoms of the hyperacusis. Now coming off this drug I am faced with the symptoms of the hyperacusis coming.

I am hoping to get some help and also share what i have learned to help treat the tinnitus and the hyperacusis.

i am also interested to see what has causes others tinnitus and hyperacusis.

yours sincerely
Big Ray 

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Febrele

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Reply with quote  #12 
"1) Relax your jawline - this is the strongest muscle in the body and tensing it narrows the tubes to you ears and can cause hyperacusis "

Wow. I'm not the only one who found that out. When my ears hurt, I massage my jawline and also the zone around my ears. It helps!
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