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tim0104

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!  And, thank you for this board!

I'm wondering if I have Hyperacusis, or something similar.  I've been playing acoustic guitar for many years (1-2 hrs per day), and lately I seem to have developed a sensitivity to it.  I have constant tinnitus, and while it never goes away completely I've noticed the tinnitus gets worse with exposure to playing too loud, being on stage, or from other types of exposure to loud noise.  I've also noticed that certain frequencies from the guitar cause discomfort in my ears (more in the right); the "fullness feeling" that hyperacusis patients describe seems to mirror what I'm experiencing with those frequencies.  I'm not sensitive all the time with everyday noises, though.  And, I have been diagnosed with some hearing loss in the higher frequency ranges, more so on the right side.

I'm not looking for a diagnosis here.  I know I should see an audiologist for that.  But, has anyone had similar experiences?  I guess I'm trying to determine what to do about it.  I have stopped playing guitar so often.  This generally helps with the tinnitus a little, as long as I don't get other types of exposure.

Thanks for your help!
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saab1216

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Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #2 
I think that you're on the right track by giving your ears a much needed rest. As a sufferer for 5 long years , I know the consequences Don't wait until the bottom falls out as I did. I'm a musician too but no longer play live music or attend loud concerts without ear protection. Best to you.
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drkellydyson

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #3 
Definitely see an audiologist sooner, rather than later. Chronic tinnitus and noise exposure together may certainly lead to hyperacusis. Unfortunately, hyperacusis doesn't just go away without treatment. Treatment with sound therapy is very effective if administered by an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus. 
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Kelly J. Dyson, Au.D., CCC-A, F-AAA
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Rob

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Posts: 60
Reply with quote  #4 

A frequency-specific loudness discomfort level (LDL) test administered by an experienced audiologist can help your clinician determine whether you have hyperacusis and, if you do, to what extent.  It sounds like you are equating “discomfort” in your ears with a feeling of aural fullness rather than with physical pain or discomfort.  Aural fullness can be a symptom of a number of things and your clinician may be able to help diagnose that as well.  Also, discuss with your doctor the importance of using hearing protection when you are around loud sound. 

Rob 

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tim0104

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks, all.  I have an audiologist appointment this Friday for an LDL test.
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Carolann

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drkellydyson
Definitely see an audiologist sooner, rather than later. Chronic tinnitus and noise exposure together may certainly lead to hyperacusis. Unfortunately, hyperacusis doesn't just go away without treatment. Treatment with sound therapy is very effective if administered by an audiologist who specializes in tinnitus. 
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Carolann

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #7 
I believe I have hyperacusis with tinnitus from my head injury.
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Aplomado

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Posts: 683
Reply with quote  #8 
Tim, you should thank God you don't have discomfort with everyday sounds.  Sounds like if you have it, it is pretty minor.

Protect your ears from loud exposure (loud concerts, tools etc) (everyone should do this) but don't withdraw from normal sound exposure.  You may find musician's ear plugs helpful for concerts.

Go to an audiologist that can treat hyperacusis for a consult.  Let us know what they say.
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tim0104

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #9 
Audiologist says I have Recruitment. My sensitivity threshold comes in around 90-95db, which is about the volume that my acoustic guitars can emit. He said normal threshold is around 105db. He also said some of my test results were strange and that I might have something pressing on my auditory nerve. This was the test where I interpret a word out of a sentence, spoken at a very low volume. I scored pretty low. He wants me to schedule an MRI, which I’ll probably do. Low results on both sides, though (30-40%). Seems like if it was a foreign body it would more than likely not be on both sides.
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Rob

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Posts: 60
Reply with quote  #10 
Tim, be sure to bring hearing protection with you to the MRI and wear it.  The test is very, very loud.  A good set of foam earplugs with a noise reduction ratio (NRR) of 33 or 34 will help a lot.  

Rob 
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Aplomado

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Posts: 683
Reply with quote  #11 

There are some quieter MRI machines (GE silent scan and others).

I highly recommend you find one of those for your test.

And wear earplugs, the plastic muffs, and wrap your head with towels etc.

I actually had 2 regular MRIs with no long term negative effects, but others have not been so lucky.

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