Hyperacusis with No Pain, No Tinnitus, Just Loudness Discomfort and Ear Fullness

Discussion in 'Support' started by OneMore, Jun 29, 2022.

    1. OneMore

      OneMore Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Hey all,

      I am 31 years old with no health issues and no prior symptoms of tinnitus or hearing loss. I attended a concert back in early May and forgot earplugs. The band playing wasn't so bad so I stuck around. But after they finished, the house music was way too loud and people around me were shouting over it. I felt an intense discomfort in my ears and had a small panic attack.

      For 1-2 weeks following the concert my ears felt physically sensitive to sound. During this time, I was very anxious worrying about permanent hyperacusis. I never experienced actual pain per se, but I would say it was more like my brain wanted nothing to do with louder than average sounds entering my ears.

      During this early period, loud sound and busy sounds (like reality tv) would cause me to feel panic again. Driving on the highway would be too loud and I had to wear earplugs. Some of those issues receded after the first couple weeks, but what I believe is loudness hyperacusis has persisted. I saw an ENT who after running several tests said there was no damage to ears, but did diagnose hyperacusis which he said would clear up in a few weeks. He said I should take Lipoflavonoid supplements which I have, even though they probably have no effect. Still, the hyperacusis has persisted.

      About 2 months in I am still struggling with discomfort to loudness. Loud voices are very uncomfortable. Clanging plates and things falling are very sharp. Any startling sound is like nails on a chalkboard. I am unable to listen to music or watch tv without getting ear fatigue. I get the aural fullness feeling frequently (I think it occurs most often after being in a social setting like a party/busy restaurant). When getting a haircut, the razor was far too loud. Lots of things that used to be completely harmless now give me the feeling of being too loud. The thing is, I don't actually hear them louder, but my brain reacts as if they are too loud. I try to wear earplugs when in louder settings, but the occlusion effect makes it difficult to have conversations.

      The sensitivity to noise has ebbed and flowed over this time. Sometimes I feel better, sometimes I feel worse. Right now I am feeling worse than ever after an outdoor party with music where I didn't have plugs but tried to hang away from the majority of the noise. I was at a similar party two weeks ago which did not have the same affect.

      Luckily, appliances, shower, and running water aren't so bad. I can leave the house, do chores, and work, even socialize to a degree. I have zero symptoms of tinnitus as far as I can tell. No ringing, rumbling or otherwise troublesome sounds that aren't real external sounds. Just very displeasing reactions to noise.

      I am feeling many things now: somewhat hopeless and depressed about my predicament. Still worried about this getting worse rather than better. Somewhat optimistic that my case is milder than many on here so it will improve with time. Glad I don't have hearing damage or tinnitus as far as I can tell. But definitely still hyper-focused on my ears and worried about I can and can't do while continuing to try to live my life.

      Any advice is welcome.
    2. aforddavis

      aforddavis Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acute acoustic trauma
      First off, try to relax. Obviously that's easier said than done but anxiety and worrying about your symptoms are only going to make them that much more significant. 2 months also isn't that long of a time frame to have hyperacusis. There is still a high possibility you will get better over the next year or so. If your symptoms are still bothersome in six months or so you could then try the trt type treatment which seems to help some.

      I would just try to rest your ears for a few more months and avoid noise that makes your ears feel worse. You should see more improvement in the next few months if you do this.
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Hi @OneMore

      I agree with the advice @aforddavis has given you and advise that you follow it. Keep away from loud music and I advise that you don't listen to audio through any type of headphones even at low volume. This includes earbuds, headsets, noise cancelling and bone conduction headphones, as this could make the hyperacusis worse and there's the possibility of developing tinnitus.

      Although you are not experiencing tinnitus at the moment this could change, because hyperacusis often accompanies tinnitus especially when it is noise induced as in your case. Try to limit your use of earplugs, particularly the foam type. Noise reducing earplugs that have filters to lower external sound are ok to use for a limited period of time but shouldn't be overused, as there's a risk of lowering the loudness threshold of the auditory system, which will make the ears more sensitive to sound.

      Start using low level sound enrichment to help desensitize your ears and auditory system. More about this is explained in the posts in the links below. Go to my started threads and read: The Complexities of Tinnitus and Hyperacusis.

      With time I believe your symptoms will improve but it's important to take things slowly.

      All the best,

      New to Tinnitus, What to Do? | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
      Hyperacusis, As I See It | Tinnitus Talk Support Forum
    4. OnlyUP

      OnlyUP Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Hi @OneMore,

      Sorry you're going through this. I totally understand the anxiety about both the present situation and fears about the future, but I think you definitely will get better!

      I have had loudness hyperacusis with intrusive tinnitus for five months. I have been doing sound therapy for three of those months. I'd say my sound tolerance has improved about 60% and the tinnitus isn't as intrusive. I had a check up with my audiologist yesterday and I gained 20 dB on my most aggravating frequency! Huge! My best days truly are the ones that I don't overanalyze or worry about it - often following a good night's sleep and activities I look forward to. I overprotected after an MRI that worsened my symptoms. Once I forced myself to stop overprotecting, I got a lot better.

      Good luck to you - give it time!
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1

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