Living in a world where the volume is turned up too high.
What is Hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis, otherwise known as sound sensitivity, is when everyday sounds – anything from bus brakes to babies crying to dishes tapping together to water running from the faucet – are extremely irritating and even painful. Common causes of hyperacusis include:
Due to an array of things that could be causing the sound sensitivity, it is best to schedule an evaluation if you think you may have hyperacusis. You will receive a physical ear examination and comprehensive medical history. We will then test your hearing sensitivity as well your tolerance levels for sounds and speech. At that time, we will confirm the presence of hyperacusis and determine the direction of treatment.
Do ear plugs or earphones help with hyperacusis?
Ear plugs and earphones, while sometimes giving temporary relief, create more harm than good. The brain realizes when sound is reduced and, if reduced for long periods of time, tries to increase the volume within the brain. This is called central gain. The perception of loudness becomes distorted. The brain becomes used to softer volumes all around and then normal sounds heard without hearing protection are perceived as too loud, thus making the hyperacusis worse.
Treatment Options in Naperville, IL
Treatment for hyperacusis can vary from individual to individual and depends on the cause. Occasionally it can resolve by itself.
Treatment for hyperacusis uses an approach that aims to improve your quality of life and help you cope with uncomfortable sounds and reduce your sound sensitivity. Sound therapy, through the use of sound generators and one-on-one counseling, can help stop central gain and retrain the brain’s auditory processing center to recalibrate and accept everyday sounds as normal again. The patient wears carefully programmed sound-generators that produce low-level soothing sounds. Over the course of treatment, which varies from person to person, regular use of the devices combined with counseling teach the patient how to control the brain’s focus and to rethink the meaning and impact of the sound, which rebuilds the patient’s tolerance to sound. Sound therapy requires the direction of a qualified audiologist to be effective.
What are Sound Generators?
Sound generators are devices that are worn all day in both ears with the option of a variety of ear tips that can help manage the environment better. They generate fractal tones at times and white noise and on their own, with the frequency response and volume output controlled by the patient, and stream from iPhones, iPods, iPads, and some Android phones. They are completely controlled by the patient, all day long making sure the patient is experiencing enjoyable/non-annoying auditory input. To fit all of these criteria, we fit specific hearing aids that have low level amplification technology, if needed, high noise reduction features with the ability to have high-end streaming and sound generation capabilities.
Will insurance cover the costs?
Insurance coverage depends upon your policy. It must be determined on a case-by-case basis. While we certainly will help you, the policyholder has the most access and rights to determine coverage than we do as providers of service.
Not ready to schedule an appointment yet? Send us a message to get in touch or with any questions you may have.
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