Hyperacusis (also spelled hyperacousis) is a health condition characterized by an over-sensitivity to certain frequency and volume ranges of sound (a collapsed tolerance to usual environmental sound). A person with severe hyperacusis has difficulty tolerating everyday sounds, some of which may seem unpleasantly or painfully loud to that person but not to others.

It can be acquired as a result of damage sustained to the hearing apparatus, or inner ear. There is speculation that the efferent portion of the auditory nerve (olivocochlear bundle) has been affected (efferent meaning fibers that originate in the brain which serve to regulate sounds). This theory suggests that the efferent fibers of the auditory nerve are selectively damaged, while the hair cells that allow the hearing of pure tones in an audiometric evaluation remain intact. In cases not involving aural trauma to the inner ear, hyperacusis can also be acquired as a result of damage to the brain or the neurological system. In these cases, hyperacusis can be defined as a cerebral processing problem specific to how the brain perceives sound. In rare cases, hyperacusis may be caused by a vestibular disorder. This type of hyperacusis, called vestibular hyperacusis, is caused by the brain perceiving certain sounds as motion input as well as auditory input.

Although severe hyperacusis is rare, a lesser form of hyperacusis affects musicians, making it difficult for them to play in the very loud environment of a rock band or orchestra which previously gave them no problems. It also makes attendance at loud discos or live events difficult for a portion of the population, given that sound levels at such events usually exceed recommended safe levels of exposure. This is a problem which may be caused by genetic differences, stress or ill-health, or by abnormal responses in the tensor tympani and stapedius muscles, which function in the normal acoustic reflex response that protects the inner ear from loud sounds.

40% of people with tinnitus report mild hyperacusis.

Hyperacusis Treatment

We are proud to provide our patients with a successful:
Tinnitus, Hyperacusis And Misophonia Treatment
conducted accordingly to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation,
First Clinical Practice Guideline on Tinnitus to more than 300 patients annually.

We are conducting and performing Tinnitus, Hyperacusis & Misophonia Treatments only with the family physician’s approval after no other medical issues are present or relevant. Still, a referral is not needed but is recommended. Treatment is based on a series of visits with the initial assessments, treatment and follow up sessions and may take up to 24 months.

  • Assessment includes: specialized hearing assessment, tinnitus oriented questionnaires as well as testing of its pitch and intensity, counselling on tinnitus and choosing designed for the specific person individual treatment plan.
  • TREATMENT IS BASED ON USING, COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY or its elements, SOUND THERAPY and/or AMPLIFICATION which may include a combination of devices or noise generators and individual counseling. People treated will be using hearing aid / noise generator combination covered partially by OHIP ( ADP ) and all private insurance plans as well as work benefits, ODSP, WSIB, and Ontario Works. Veterans are providing full coverage of the cost of instruments and treatments.

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