7 Causes of Hyperacusis and the Best Treatment Options

Hyperacusis is a condition in which you develop a sensitivity to certain everyday sounds. When you have hyperacusis, sounds that don’t bother other people seem extra loud or annoying to you. For example, you may feel bothered by the sounds of a dripping faucet, automobile traffic, or rustling paper.

People with hyperacusis may or may not have other hearing disorders, such as hearing loss. However, it’s often associated with tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in your ears.

If you have hyperacusis, you may wonder what caused it. To help you understand some of the most common causes of hyperacusis, Dr. Kevin Sharim of Sharp Hearing Care Professionals shares information on seven common causes of hyperacusis, as well as the treatment options available for managing this condition.

1. Trauma to your head or ear

Trauma can cause damage to nerves, joints, and muscles. One such source of trauma is having a car’s airbag go off in your face.

2. Facial surgery

Various types of facial surgery could potentially affect the intricate nerve network in your face, head, or ears.

3. Ear infection

Ear infections – especially those that occur deep in your ear – can impact ear function and the delicate communication that goes on between your ear and brain.

4. Exposure to loud noises

Noise can affect your hearing in various ways. One-time or chronic exposure can lead to hearing loss and could increase your risk of developing hyperacusis.

5. TMJ

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ) are a group of conditions that can affect your jaw joint and muscles. Some types of TMJ can cause hyperacusis and other hearing-related conditions

6. Bell’s palsy

Bell’s palsy is a type of temporary nerve weakness that can occur in your face. Some people who experience Bell’s palsy develop hyperacusis.

7. Health conditions

Hyperacusis is sometimes associated with various health conditions. These include chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, Meniere’s disease, Williams syndrome, epilepsy, migraines, Tay-Sachs disease, depression, and others. In addition, certain medications may contribute to hyperacusis and tinnitus.

Treating hyperacusis

To diagnose hyperacusis, Dr. Sharim and his team of hearing care professionals conduct a physical exam and comprehensive audiology consultation, including a hearing evaluation. During your exam, your provider looks for evidence of any kind of hearing loss or other hearing problems, including hyperacusis.

If you do have hyperacusis, your provider creates a customized treatment plan that may include one or more of the following:

If everyday sounds are bothering you, we can help. To make an appointment for a hearing evaluation, contact one of our offices in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, West Hills, or Santa Monica, California.

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