Hyperacusis is an increased sensitivity to many everyday sounds e.g. conversation, traffic, household appliances. Up to 40% of people with tinnitus describe a degree of hyperacusis. Hyperacusis can exist on its own or alongside a number of other symptoms such as in Meniere’s and Chronic Fatigue syndrome.
Hyperacusis affects people in different ways. For some people, it is a minor annoyance but other people find it really difficult to live with. Some people with Hyperacusis withdraw from social and professional activities and become isolated; this can make the problem worse as they become fearful and anxious. Therapy often involves addressing these fears and anxieties.
There are different types of sound sensitives:
The Hyperacusis Clinic is currently able to see patients through a mixture of remote and face to face appointments. The format of your pathway will be specifically designed for the patient and is agreed by the patient and the Audiologist. We accept referrals for patients who have been seen by the Ear Nose and Throat Department and have been referred to us for more advice about their tinnitus. Typically, most patients are seen in the clinic up to five times.
- Initially we phone each patient to gain a better understanding of their hyperacusis and how it is affecting them
- Each patient then completes our 3 part informational counselling course which we send you links to
- A further appointment is arranged (virtually – by phone or online platform or face to face) to provide personalised counselling and support from this course and to jointly agree on a treatment plan
- Further appointment focus on delivering the treatment plan and following up on each patient’s progress
We can provide a sound desensitisation programme which includes:
- Informational counselling and emotional adjustment
- Sound therapy
- Challenging perceptions about sounds & ear protection
- Exposure training
- Signposting to online peer support
- Referrals to psychological support including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or signposting for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for further support with the effects on your mental health
There is not a national charity for hyperacusis but there is an international forum call the Hyperacusis Network you may wish to also review.« Return to Audiology (hearing) for adults