Ear Very Sensitive to Sounds

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Annalea Walsh, May 28, 2013.

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    1. Annalea Walsh

      Annalea Walsh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/20111
      Hello everyone
      I wonder if you could advise me. I have Tinnitus almost 2 years in the left ear. I've gotten used to it in that it does not bother me. However the past 2 weeks I have been experiencing a weird sensation in that same ear. I find everyday sounds amplify the tinnitus for a split second, it kind of shoots up and then down and my ear feels like there is a something vibrating or fluttering in it. I also find when I talk the tinnitus is shooting up in response to my voice. I've read about Hyperacusis and am a bit panicky. I was not around any loud noises.

      Thanks for any feedback.
       
    2. Lord of the Ring
      Cheeky

      Lord of the Ring Member

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2013
      Could also be some sort of form of Reactive Tinnitus. Although not an official medical term, reactive tinnitus is the best way to describe a form of tinnitus that has its volume go up when sounds around go up as well.
       
    3. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      It could be hyperacusis but don't get panicky because that feeds into it and can make it worse. Now that I have said that, it probably doesn't help but I had about 6-8 months of Hyperacusis in the beginning of my T and it does happen and usually resolves itself. Sometimes quickly, sometimes it may take a little longer. There is a lot of fear involved so try not to be scared of everyday sounds. They cannot hurt you and the fluttering effect is usually temporary. It will get better. Don't avoid normal everyday sounds. Stay as calm as possible. Live life as normal as possible. You will be ok.
       
    4. Annalea Walsh

      Annalea Walsh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/20111
      Thnks for positive feedback Erik! I might go to the GP to rule out any ear infection..I'm sure the ear flutter thing will settle down soon it's very annoying. Good to know your hyperacusis resolved for you eventually. If I have any other questions on hyperacusis may pick your brain again sometime...Thanks.
       
    5. Annalea Walsh

      Annalea Walsh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/20111
      Question for Erik re hyperacusis or indeed anyone else with experience of this..

      Erik did you go about your life as per normal when you had hyperacisis? I mean I am now 'plugging' my left ear if I go somewhere that is noisy eg taking my kids swimming...Is this a wise thing to do..? am I making the hyperacisis (assuming it is this until I see ENT) worse? Any tips would be gratefull.

      Annalea
       
    6. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hi Annalea,

      For those who may not know....Hyperacusis makes everyday sounds too loud and can also make your ears hurt, like the volume level of everything around you got cranked up 10x thus creating pain and severe anxiety. To me, everything was too loud--kids were too loud, handling dishes was too loud, the TV was always to loud, driving was too loud, the horn beep from my car locking was too loud....I tried to function as normal as I could, though I was experiencing much distress and anxiety from both the tinnitus and hyperacusis and it was really tough for a few months.

      At first, I did try to wear ear plugs and stay away from noisy places but I think that just prolonged my distress. I was told to listen to low levels of noise like white noise every day for a few hours to help desensitize my hearing system. I am not a big fan of white noise, it seemed irritate my tinnitus. I found other noise like pink and brown more soothing and tolerable but even better just calm music seemed to help. I just loaded them onto my phone, looped them and listened to them thru my headphones. It helped even out in public. I had my headphones in as I did my shopping, etc.

      The main thing to remember is that all these sounds seem too loud but they are not and normal everyday sounds WILL NOT HARM YOU!

      There is a couple decent resources below. You auditory system has become over sensitized and thinks normal, everyday sounds are harmful. The main treatment involves sound desensitization.

      If a person experiences tolerance problems to everyday sounds, they must not be encouraged to use ear protection unless they are in a situation where the noise levels are so high that hearing loss is likely to develop (greater than 80 dBA). If ear protection is used inappropriately, hyperacusis will be aggravated.
      In most instances clients are encouraged to increase the amount of sound in their environment to help re-train the auditory pathways. When a hearing loss is also present, hearing aids may be helpful as long as they are programmed to dampen down damaging levels of sound.

      http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/AIS-Hyperacusis.pdf - look in treatments section

      http://hyperacusisresearch.org/
       
    7. Annalea Walsh

      Annalea Walsh Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/20111
      Erick, thanks for your description of your hyperacusis experience (thnkfully it's behind you!) I am able to tolerate everyday sounds like driving, tv, and my kids when they are not screaming etc., also, don't have any pain as a result of hearing loud noises. However, I find my tinnitus goes up with noise and then bk down again when noise stops, and I have the annoying inner ear fluttering thing in response to sounds. I just hope ENT can throw some light on it, it's a weird one. Last Q for you: Is Hyperacusis reversible then? given that you have greatly improved, I guess it varies from person to person.
       
    8. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Yes, the severity does vary from person to person. Can be debilitating for some, mild for others. I think mine was somewhere in the middle. It does get better with time. There could have been some change in your hearing that caused the tinnitus and hyperacusis (usually go hand in hand if you have both), and it takes some time for your brain to adjust.
       

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