Mild Hyperacusis Life Dilemma

Discussion in 'Support' started by jakedude182, Jan 20, 2020.

?

Would I be best to put my foot down, accept ongoing pain and not wear earplugs every day?

  1. Yes the problem may fade over time

  2. No

  3. Look into counselling for my parents who I live with instead of chancing a potential big argument

  4. Unsure in your situation

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    1. jakedude182
      Jaded

      jakedude182 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      door slams
      I believe I have developed pretty mild hyperacusis over several years by:

      • Protecting my ears with earplugs whenever I leave the house. I NEVER don't wear them, as everything is so unpredictable in town and outside even walking up the street (which I have learnt through pain)
      • Being on alert and staying proactive to physically cover my ears whenever a door opens or something around my home environment occurs.

      Ultimately reducing my tolerance to loud noises, especially when I remove my earplugs.

      This is because it is possible for me to do so without effecting my daily, and yearly life. I can hear people talk and do my job while wearing earplugs without having anything medical related at all.

      I visited an ENT specialist last year out of curiosity for a hearing test which proved that I haven't lost any hearing. And the doctor basically said... I need to man up as I can hear fine, and that noise is something that should be in your life and it's normal pretty much.

      Problems I'm having at the moment:

      People I have lived with for years are not caring to gently close doors as they have done so in the past carefully when I am nearby.

      Having this several times a day is leading me to ear pain again and I try not to wear earplugs while alone in my bedroom or when wearing headphones.

      Overall my hope for my life is to one day be able to not wear earplugs. However I feel very strongly contested because I know it will cause me a lot of pain which is the reason I spent hundreds of pounds and spent a lot of time getting custom made earplugs of a high protection level in the first place.

      The core of the problem I feel is that I have led myself down an easy way into wearing earplugs. Sometimes I can shrug off loud noises when in the right frame of mind without them...
      I have attached a triangle I found somewhere last year which I find interesting.

      I made a quick poll also.

      The self diagnosis of very mild hyperacusis is due to feeling pain similar to being sunburnt in my ear for days after particularly loud unexpected sounds.
      Even when expected e.g. scaffolding pole dropped from top of house that I can see happening the pain occurs for long afterwards, but is not as strong I feel as when it was unexpected.

      Thank you for reading!
      Any comments or anything at all would be great for encouragement, thanks Jake :)
       

      Attached Files:

    2. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      If you have been able to control hyperacusis just by wearing earplugs outside and with this you can more or less manage the condition, just continue to wear them. And you can even hear people through them, so it is absolutely fine.
       
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    3. Christopher805

      Christopher805 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      I am curious based on your reaction to sounds, how can you classify your hyperacusis as mild? Your reaction with pain makes me wonder what does severe hyperacusis feel like. I am sorry about the inconsiderate nature of the folks you live with. That is bad. I have hyperacusis and tinnitus. The hyperacusis comes and goes. One day I can step on leaves, the next nope, annoyance. I also have warm sensation in my ears at times. I have no hearing loss. In terms of your approach with ear plugs your doctor was right. Noise is your best friend with hyperacusis to desensitize them. I listen to broadband noise which is supposed to help treat hyperacusis. I do not wear ear plugs unless I go somewhere that’s loud. However, you have to do what is best or works for you. Whatever you decide to do or not, keep pushing forward. God Bless You. Peace.
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jakedude182
      Jaded

      jakedude182 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      door slams
      I don't know how I can class the level of my pain to loud noises without reading into it more online. I haven't done this recently yet but may do so soon.

      From what I remember I think the pain received is to do with the split second brain reaction to incoming discomfort and the brain can effectively cause you increased pain if your thoughts are negative towards the associated sound in this instance. So I view this as, being annoyed and irritated by for example cars driving past while i'm waiting to cross the road as I just want to get away from the noisy main road and distance myself from that location. (due to having had loud lorries go by in the past even with ear plugs on causing me pain)

      So in that sense, the hyperacusis I feel would come into play because my sensitivity at that main road is on alert.


      Likewise, if I am in town then its a place that I subconsciously already fear when walking and am on heightened alert even though it may be completely fine in regards to no sudden loud cars, doors, explosions (I was outside a kebab shop once and a gas canister exploded in the shop) This caused me trouble for a few weeks a few years ago.
      So wearing earplugs all the time is my safe default mode now.. albeit not the best way to go perhaps..

      So I do fear loud noises in general when walking up the street. However in a park or somewhere that I feel is a safer area then I could take my earplugs out. Occasionally I have, last year in particular when in woods or on long walks in mountain areas. When I do this then most things, walking, rain, small rocks clattering, clothing sounds, people talking next to me... All of this barely effects me and there is next to no pain if i'm feeling strong inside about being in a safe area.
      I might concede at times halfway through a 3 or 4 hour walk and put my earplugs back in out of ease. (or if walking directly past a sheep field :p )
      This is why I don't feel that I have strong hyperacusis at all.

      Dry leaves crunching could be irritating, but I don't think this would trouble me too much if it was a (what my brain considers safe sound area to not wear earplugs in)

      So if somebody near me holds for example, a dyson handheld hoover. Then its very difficult for me at the moment to accept that as being a normal sound, and my instinct is to put my hands over my ears.

      This happens in my work environment and i'm concerned that at some point people will have me in serious discussions for this way that I perceive sounds.

      Whats good though is that i've become so used to the chance of loud noises effecting me, that when they do, most of the time I am prepared for them to happen.


      Yes white noise and those style background noises are great. Sometimes I play smoothed brown noise, and i'm glad you mentioned. As there was something on this forum I read a while ago which mentioned using this during sleep or while relaxing in bed to try and help desensitize ears which I want to try out!


      Yesterday door bell rang and I felt and body reacted sort of like I had been struck by lightning as I was in the hallway when the metal bell door bell clanged. I wasn't expecting it and wasn't wearing earplugs either.
      The earache lasted a few hours afterwards as the ringing was only brief.

      I don't have tinnitus, i'm quite sure of that. I hear a very faint noise but know that it isn't anything like actual tinnitus where there is e.g a flat constant note being played, or a mixture of sounds that sound as if they are real interruptions.

      Much of the thought lines to do with hyperacusis I feel can effect it. My mum often says to me.. think positively, it is what it is pretty much, if you dwell on it. Then your only going to make it worse inside because your brain is against you kind of.
      Hard to explain that last part.

      Thanks for your posts, much appreciated, jake :)
       
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    5. Christopher805

      Christopher805 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      @jakedude182
      Fear is the catalyst that stokes the fire of fear. Our fear, if you can imagine, raises our senses and nerves to the point were we are hyper focused on sound. Which I might add is easy to do when there is physical pain or discomfort associated with it. So, when we plan to venture out to a possible area that may expose us to loud sounds we are already somewhat on edge before walking out the door. It’s like we know there is a tiger out there, where is it, I know he’s coming. So when we do see the cars or whatever we are already ramped up to react with either annoyance, pain or both. I applaud you for getting out and just saying the heck with it. Your mom gave you the best advice, she is a very sagacious and loving mom. Our brains can be either or best fiend or revered enemy. The brains and the ego are beast that both creates fear and gorges on it. You control them, you control your fear. Hyperacusis is so fickle. Mine comes and goes; it is like what is it going to be today. LOL. I am thankful you don’t have tinnitus. It is no fun either. With respect to what to listen to at night go to Doctors' Corner, Dr. Nagler talks about sounds to listen to to treat hyperacusis. God Bless you and your mom. Peace.
       
    6. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      That's an example to prove that hyperacusis does not have anything to do with being afraid of sound, but is just a condition derived from some damage to the hearing system or the nerve that drives sound to the brain. Or it can be an alteration of how we process sound.

      But basically it is ridiculous to claim that someone who has been absolutely fine around sound for a part of his life is suddenly "afraid of sound" for no reason.
       
    7. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      Just to make another point: sounds that are not objectively loud are not likely to damage you or set you back permanently, but hearing protection is needed because you never know when a very loud sound (a sound that would bother or damage anyone, even normal ears) will happen.

      And I say this out of experience, because I had severe hyperacusis and was facing the same dilemma as yours, considering whether to stop using earplugs... and tried... well, this made hyperacusis worse, I lost hearing, I got tinnitus... I wouldn't recommend to follow that path.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      jakedude182
      Jaded

      jakedude182 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      door slams
      I think that i'll push on and continue to use the earplugs then. I'm doing well so far at not getting into arguments with the parents as I have a lot more to lose than gain if that happened.

      I find that i'm not as afraid of sound when my ears have been doing better over several weeks. While I live at home I barely encounter random loud sounds.
      The realization that loud noises were effecting me took several years where I had worked around mixed jobs. Some were on building sites where people used circular saws, hammers, drills etc. In the car playing any music louder on the motorway to hear it over roadnoise is not good anymore. Also when working around children where kids screaming near me would leave my ears aching for hours.
      There were various things, and I was becoming more cautious of noises before an event led me to leave a social event and call it a night as I was in tears.
      It got very painful at one point where a guy dropped a glass bottle into a bin that I was sat next to from height and it bounced on the bottom of the bin. This led to about two days of horrible pain and the noises about made my ears feel like they were not going back to what would feel normal. The sensitivity to sound was beginning. Which is when I had to do something about ear protection and spent ages looking at things online.

      Thank you Christopher for your kind words :)

      And reading the information Juan about when you tried going without earplugs is interesting. I fear the same would happen to me so thanks for mentioning :)

      With the fact that our ears cannot repair, but rather over the human lifespan lose capability and can be damaged.

      I think it may be wise to not ever risk my hearing again despite my slight hyperacusis issues. The sensitivity may be raised inside, and the awkwardness sometimes with remembering to wear/maintain earplugs.. however the protection and peace of mind will remain worth the risk.

      In a few years I might change my mind, but for now its been time well spent posting here :)
       
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