I'm Wondering If This Is Hyperacusis or Phonophobia

Discussion in 'Support' started by demi, Feb 9, 2014.

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    1. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      I can tolerate loud noises, but they do bother me and make me super anxious. I have had the symptoms of ear fullness (which have no gone away yet) and have had the burning sensations, but lately loud noises have happened around me and I just freak out, I think my ears become fuller...but it could just be my mind playing tricks on me - because when I calm down they don't feel as full.

      Any ideas?

      Also I want to look into TRT, but am wondering how much that may help?
      Will I always have this? Am I going to have to be super anxious and careful around doing things like washing dishes forever?
       
    2. I think your first step would be to see an Audioloigist and have your ldls tested. This would establish whether or not you have Hyperacusis. Up to 40% of tinnitus sufferers have Hyperacusis..OR increased sensitivity to sound. I know it's confusing, but naturally if certain sounds hurt or startle you, it could easily turn into phonophobia as well..along with fear of more sounds..or loud sounds etc..I have learned all this in 5 weeks researching and speaking to many other sufferers. Also look up tonic tensor tympani syndrome.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    3. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Is that possible though? phonophobia without H?
       
    4. IMO, from your posts, I think your ears are clearly reactive to certain noises..but it doesn't mean it's H..it could also be TTTS, which also occurs in T sufferers(based on what I've read) The best way to know if you have H, is to see what your loudness discomfort levels are. I am going on Tuesday to find out mine and to discuss my other ear symptoms, the thumping, fluttering, buring, fullness etc..I am also going to an ENT.
       
    5. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
    6. Will do demi :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      Also question about your thumping. Do you get like a thump around certain noises? Like I feel like my left ear thumps when I do things like crack my knuckles or even when someone talks loudly.
       
    8. Yes, all the time. I do take a benzo (clonazepam) and it does help this symptom to an extent. It is common for people with H to have this..People who have gotten better, say it went away..also an audiologist told me it is benign.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    9. NeoM
      Moonlighting

      NeoM Member

      Location:
      America
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/31/2013
      I don't think you should be worrying about whether you have misophonia or phonophobia until you get tested.
       
    10. TomT
      Balanced

      TomT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Can you describe how the thumping feels like? Do you feel the thumping when hearing your own voice and or hear something real softly like a crick or crack at night while you trying to sleep. Also is there certain time of the day where it is worse?
       
    11. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      When I hear certain noises (it doesn't happen all the time), like the sound from pulling a on the strong to turn on the light, or sometimes my own voice, or if i place something down I get a thump in my left ear. It's like a suction sound almost. There isn't a certain time that it is worse.
       
    12. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Could you elaborate the thumping a bit more?
      For a month I've been having that.. if it is what I think it is, just considered it a smurfkick. Every time I finnish a sentence, *thump* in left ear. It kind of sounds like, when you do the vasalva maneuver, not the crackling but a little poof.
      Everytime someone stops talking, *thump*, if I hit a knife to a plate again and again, *thump*. If I plug my finger into the ear, *thump* in left, also if if I plug only the right lol..
      By sounds I'm not even annoyed, I might have minor h but nothing serious. Google only mentions it in correlation to heartbeat but it doesnt have anything to do with that.
      Someone mentioned it could be the eardrum that was tightened however no doctor said they were to me, I didnt try ending sentences meanwhile they looked though. - I is SO annoying tbh.

      Also Demi, I used to have quite some ear fullness, but like just massaging around the ear area while washing my hair, to warm up the area, was a quick fix to it for me
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      @Tenna YES! this is basically what it happening. It doesn't happen all the time, but a lot of the time it does. If I cough I get the thump. If I raise my voice a bit it thumps. I kissed my boyfriend yesterday and it would thump.
       
    14. TomT
      Balanced

      TomT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Kissing a boyfriend would most likely thump. I would try to avoid that at all cost :)
       
    15. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      @Tenna today I've been getting the thumps after I talk and after people talk. End of sentence *thump*
       
    16. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      This is one of the weirdest things, i was so scared when it started, 2 weeks after the mandatory cold and im happy im not alone on the smurf kick :p thankfully its not a pain. Did it start at any specific occasion for you @demi
      Btw i tried hitting a knife against a glass one day, a thump at each hit, so many times and it stopped temporarily for the shory time being.

      As i said, i doubt its ttts, as it requires for the eardrum to be tightened. Also its not really a h experience that much for me, like a shock. Im very calm and its such a physical little poof. What happens if you plug an ear, both ears with your fingers, and pull them out?
       
    17. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
      It's tympany myoclonia, i got this 11 years before getting tinnitus, it certainly is benign and probably won't go away.

      it's the brain acting to protect your hearing from loud noises even if they're not loud.
       
    18. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      I see Valentin, I appreciate the benignity however saying it probably wont go away you none knows, and is not exactly something we need to worry about :) Do you have a link with some information on it btw?
      Lol, so I'm being protected from my own voice
       
    19. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tensor_tympani_muscle

      from the website :In many people with hyperacusis, an increased activity develops in the tensor tympani muscle in the middle ear as part of the startle response to some sounds. This lowered reflex threshold for tensor tympani contraction is activated by the perception/anticipation of loud sound, and is called tonic tensor tympani syndrome (TTTS). In some people with hyperacusis, the tensor tympani muscle can contract just by thinking about a loud sound. Following exposure to intolerable sounds, this contraction of the tensor tympani muscle tightens the ear drum, which can lead to the symptoms of ear pain/a fluttering sensation/a sensation of fullness in the ear (in the absence of any middle or inner ear pathology).

      from me : even if we don't feel it that way, the brain has been traumatized by the accoustic trauma and reacts according to this event.
       
    20. demi
      No Mood

      demi Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2012
      On the H boards, many said when H clears up so does TTTS.
       
    21. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Interesting reading, thanks!
      Valentin you said you had it prior to t, did you have h then or how? I must say t, h and all ear related things are incredibly odd
       
    22. TomT
      Balanced

      TomT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Again on this thumping issue. Does it feel like a nerve shock to your ear or is like a low pitch thump. Mine feels like a shock to my inner ear. I get it sometime to certain high pitch noises; metal hitting metal, children yelling, certain voices and sometime my own voice, but usually while I am excited laughing and talking at the same time. I honestly don't know what I got!
       
    23. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Nah mine doesnt feel like a shock, it's pretty predictable, it's doesnt strike at uncomfortable sounds.
      All those you mention, aside from your own voice which I ofc can't know, can bring chills to most lol, and a shock reaction in your ears. I'm not sure as to the laughing and talking
       
    24. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member

      Location:
      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1994
      It's not phonophobia. Likely it's mild hyperacusis complicated by misophonia. Agree with those who recommended that you undergo testing - but be sure the audiologist doing the testing is knowledgeable and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of sound sensitivity.

      sp
       
    25. here2help

      here2help Member

      demi,

      No one can diagnose hyperacusis over the Internet. The anxiety you feel around loud sound may be related to the loud concert you attended and exposure to the two other relatively loud sounds you described in another thread. In each case, exposure to these sounds resulted in your feeling ear fullness. When you hear other loud sounds, you may be anticipating they will have a similar impact. It isn’t a coincidence that when you feel calmer, your ears feel less full. That is important information. It is also good to hear that you can tolerate loud sounds. As other posters have suggested, a loudness discomfort level (LDL) test can help your doctor determine whether you have hyperacusis and its extent if you do.

      Street Spirit and Tenna,

      The thumping may be tensor tympani myoclonus, which can be diagnosed by viewing the ear drum through an otoscope and observing what happens when the muscle contracts following exposure to a loud sound. In some cases, your doctor may be able to hear it by placing his or her ear close to your ear. This type of myoclonus can be due to stress or anxiety about exposure to sound.

      here2help
       
      • Like Like x 1
    26. Valentin

      Valentin Member

      Location:
      Thailand
      Tinnitus Since:
      17/08/2013
      Well i wouldn't say H but definately TTTS and maybe a sensitivity to certain sounds, at the beggining my right ear(the most sensitive and the most affected by TTTS was hot sometimes)for all these years prior to T.

      I recall from very distant memories(11years+) that i experienced a sound in my ears after a loud sound exposure, it was like very very small electrical interferences and i was barely able to hear it with my ear on the pillow, it went away after few hours of sleep, i think this TTTS stuff started shortly after that.

      In 2002, there were no internet forums like this to have informations so i didn't link that TTTS to my possible first accoustic trauma and of course no information on tinnitus, that night we had a car crash because the driver was too drunk so i decided to stop to go to clubs(it was the third time i went to a club) and that was the end of loud noises until recently.


      PS: this TTTS and hot ear never bothered me and never made me change my social habits, tinnitus is another story....
       
    27. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      @here2help
      I've had one of those where the doctor tested to see the 'flexibility' of the eardrum and its' reactions to 3 different loud pitched noises he played straight into my ear (that fucking idiot... sorry), a tympanometry I believe it was. They were functioning normally but in no way does the thumping happen at those painfully annoying sounds he bursted straight into me ears at 95db. - what a way of checking potential h.
      So can you see the middle ear muscle through the eardrum contract or how? And I really appreciate all the input from all of you, also that it's about anxiety/stress related, as it did occur under exactly those circumstances, it also varies in degree. Also... Especially because you guys (including myself now) are far more experts than many considered doctor experts on the area ;(

      I see Valentin! So many different circumstances, I recall there was a guy recently in the introduction forum who got the hot ears too, which was a huge nuisance to him, it's really good to know it didn't change your social habits, just weird as this kind of potential h, causing potential ttts were present prior to t as they're usually connected, wow.
      Mine is whenever I talk, people talk at specific freq, or something.. *thump*, so it impacts socially, as long as it's not a pain and don't increase it's ok just semmi really annoying = )
       
    28. here2help

      here2help Member

      Tenna,

      Your doctor would be able to see the eardrum with an otoscope. When the tensor tympani contracts following exposure to a loud sound, he would see something that looks like a dimple on your eardrum. (The tensor tympani is next to another muscle called the tensor veli palatini, and when the tensor tympani contracts the tensor veli palatini may contract too.) The tensor tympani muscle’s purpose in life is to protect us by reducing how much sound can get into the inner ear. The contraction of this muscle can be thought of as a reflex. When the tensor tympani is working overtime, it can be due to stress (including stress about sound).

      Tensor Tympani Syndrome can’t be diagnosed over the Internet, but there is an interesting paper on it by Dr. Ingmar Klockhoff from Sweden who named and described the syndrome in 1979. Klockhoff believed the syndrome was caused by an increase in tension due to mental stress. In 76 cases, Klockhoff noted the primary symptoms included episodic ear fullness (83%) , tension headache (88%), dizziness (80%), and dysacusis (42%) consisting of murmurs, clicks, and even distortion in some cases.

      here2help
       
    29. Tenna
      Anime

      Tenna Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      @here2help that's an eyeopener really.

      I guess I have to provoke some of thos dimples while he looks then with to otoscope then, the tympanometry didnt do any good but pain.
      Ofc it can't be diagnosed over the internet, however..
      episodic ear fullness check, tension headache check, clicks, distortion, check.. continuous thumping check, basically most symptoms check - Over the internet I've gotten more from any of the 5 doctors I've visited + all the other counsellors :) thanks!
       
    30. japongus

      japongus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      can @Tenna and @demi elaborate on whether the passage of time has changed your mind about the nature of the thumps? I have dull painful thumps and at the beginning I couldn't quite believe what they were and it took me quite some time to stop denying to myself that they were thumps that started, with a certain latency, at the reflex beginning of a sound, and with a similar latency would end after the exterior sound ended. So maybe you've changed your mind about the thumps arriving after the sentence?

      Also, how has this year gone for you, did you try TRT, did you talk with people that have used botox etc? I understand that for those like you that get thumps with no or mild hyperacusis, botox and muscle cuts has had some success, but there are mixed reports. But my thumps are either the result of my H or are the hyperacusis itself, so for me its more risky to think of these treatments.

       

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