One of our primary senses is hearing. That being the case, there’s always a chance that you might develop complications in your hearing. Either as a child, you’re born with it, during your young years or even when you’re old. Regardless of the situation, sound sensitivity will cause a change in your lifestyle.
In this article, we are going to discuss 4 different types of sound sensitivity.
This is a type of hearing disorder that makes it quite hard for you to deal with the everyday sounds. If you are suffering from this disorder, normal and low sound will feel like it’s unbearably loud.
Here are some of the sounds that might be a little loud than they are supposed to;
- A loud conversation
- Engine of your car
- Some kitchen appliances such as refrigerator
In most cases, there are people who only suffer from a mild form of this disorder. However, if the Hyperacusis is severe, you are likely to suffer from constant seizures or even loss of balance.
The good news is that this disorder is quite rare. Only an estimated one out of fifty thousand people are prone to Hyperacusis. There is also a high probability that if you are suffering from Hyperacusis you are likely to also be affected by tinnitus. Tinnitus is the buzzing that might occur within your ear.
Potential causes of Hyperacusis
Normally when you listen to some sound, your ears convert the sounds to vibration then to pulses that can be interpreted by the brain. However, when suffering from Hyperacusis, your brain tends to over exaggerate the levels of sound.
You are not born with Hyperacusis. It develops due to certain health issues or diseases. Here are some of the common causes of Hyperacusis;
- An injury to your head
- Damage in one of your ears
- A viral infection such as Bell’s palsy
- Lyme disease
- A migraine
- Meniere’s disease
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder
Also being around loud noise can cause Hyperacusis. For instance gunshots.
Treatment and diagnosis
If you think you might have this disorder, then you need to see a doctor immediately. He will ask you a few questions and examine you so that he can find out if you have the disorder. More to that, he will try to determine the root cause of your illness.
Your treatment will majorly depend on the cause of this disorder. The doctor might recommend you to a sound specialist who will help you to deal with your sound sensitivity. The treatment is known as sound desensitization.
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough research on other treatment options to prove if they are effective. Some of the alternative treatments include;
- Acupuncture; this will help you relax
- Auditory integration therapy is often used to treat autism. It involves listening to music at different volumes throughout the day.
- Your treatment can also involve the use of drugs to help you relieve your stress levels which might be the cause.
This is also another sound sensitive disorder. Recruitment occurs when there is a significant growth in a person’s perceived loudness especially if he or she is suffering from hearing loss. This disorder happens when there is ‘recruitment’ of hair cells that are close to the other damaged cells.
That means, there is a time this individual can’t hear anything. But when the recruitment disorder kicks in, he or she will be blown away by the ‘extreme’ loudness. This disorder happens when you are in environments that has too much loud noise. For instance next to an industry. Treatment is almost the same as the one for Hyperacusis.
Misophonia is the adverse reaction to sound that is considered not loud or simply normal to the average ear. In some cases, the individual can actually see the source of the sound due to its ‘loudness’. For instance, he or she might react to how people eat, sniffing and also the sound of some consonants such as p or t.
Phonobia is a kind of subcategory of Misophonia. Here the individual not only fears the ‘loud’ sound but he or she is afraid of the future sound or environment that’s prone to having a loud sound. The patient will feel a sense wanting to be alone to survive. It’s actually very hard to treat someone suffering from this illness.
4. Hypersensitive Hearing
This is a group of individuals who are sensitive only to a certain sound. They are typically born with this disorder. They can only tolerate certain sounds even at loud volumes.