What is hyperacusis?
Definition: hyperacusis is the medical term for the inability to tolerate ordinary noises, to the extent that this intolerance causes distress and difficulties in a patient’s everyday life. The precise degree of noise sensitivity varies from patient to patient, and the causes vary as well.
Almost anyone who is diagnosed with hyperacusis will be presented with a range of treatment options. Although there is no cure, it can be effectively managed, which is what most of these treatment methods seek to achieve.
One popular choice is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT therapists seek to engage patients directly with how they experience pain and noise, helping to avoid stressful situations, and creating a positive mindset to handle the symptoms. In other cases, patients may go through sound therapy. In this case, medical experts may seek to desensitize a patient’s ears over a period of months. By using “noise generators” in specially controlled environments, these experts can slowly alter the way patients perceive outside noise. This helps to reduce the volume of the sounds they hear. The noise generators create what is known as “pink sound,” which has been found to have therapeutic properties for many patients. However, these sessions can be difficult, sometimes extending for up to eight hours and requiring multiple appointments every month.
Partly for those reasons, the best therapy in some cases may be to deal with the distress and depression that the condition can cause. Relaxation therapies and counseling can help here. In most cases, patients are also asked to take responsibility for changing their lifestyle to avoid isolation, which may involve exposure to painful noises. The goal is that they get used to such sensations and avoid the effects of isolation.