woman wearing headphones who looks like she is in pain

What is hyperacusis?

Contributed by HearingLife

3/27/2023 12:00:00 AM • 3 min read

Tags • Research

Hyperacusis is an audiological disorder that causes the person with it to be very sensitive to certain sounds. It can make everyday sounds like running water unbearably loud, or it may cause physical pain to be exposed to sudden loud sounds. For some people, it even makes their own voice very loud.

Hyperacusis can lead to isolation and depression because people stop participating in social settings out of fear and discomfort.

Causes of hyperacusis

There are a variety of possible causes of hyperacusis, including head injuries, viral infections, high levels of noise exposure, certain medications, some autoimmune disorders, TMJ/TMD, stress and more.

Treatments for hyperacusis

If hyperacusis is present along with hearing loss or tinnitus, which is often the case, then hearing aids can be a helpful tool for treating it. Tinnitus programs, which teach your brain to refocus away from the ringing in your ears, can also be used to help retrain your ears to tolerate sound.

Other treatment options include cognitive behavior therapy to manage stress and cope with your reactions to loud sounds.

If you find everyday sound to suddenly be unbearable, be sure to contact your doctor or audiologist right away or schedule a complimentary hearing assessment at HearingLife to discuss how we can help.