My Hyperacusis Recovery Story

Discussion in 'Support' started by windwalker, Oct 30, 2022.

    1. windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      After 2.5 years, I am finally 90% recovered from hyperacusis and can consider myself a success story! I was once a musician and have not returned to music, but can live my life almost as I did before. I am still mindful of my environment always carry earplugs. Additionally, I will never again wear headphones or earbuds. However, for the most part, I am recovered—although I realize I am susceptible to hyperacusis resurgence forever.

      I have created a guide that includes every method I used to recover. Feel free to ask me any questions or concerns and I will answer them to the best of my ability.


      Introduction:

      Hello, I wanted to finally share my success story as I am 90% healed from hyperacusis after over 2 long years. I hope this is insightful and I have tried my best to consolidate my knowledge and recovery process. As a preface, the following document is based primarily on my experience and loose anecdotal evidence of others. While I am not a doctor, I have seen several licensed specialists and have spent hundreds of hours reading posts and articles about hyperacusis. Ultimately, I have found that very little is known scientifically about the cause of hyperacusis. Additionally, symptoms vary between individual cases. However, I have included all helpful techniques that led to my personal recovery.

      First, I will tell you about myself and how I developed the condition. I was once a musician and frequently used headphones at blaring volumes which led to hyperacusis. I noticed early signs in the form of hearing sensitivity during March 2020. Naturally, I was still unaware of the severity of my condition and gave myself several major “setbacks.” Initially, I healed rather quickly. However, I continued to suffer setbacks by making music and living life without proper caution. During the first 6 months, I inadvertently caused myself 7-10 major setbacks. Eventually, I began to feel discomfort in my jaw and occasional ear pain rather than only sensitivity. I was eventually met with multiple new tinnitus tones, jaw aggravation and burning as well as inner-ear pain. At its worst, my LDL (loudness discomfort level) was about 50 decibels. This meant rain, voices and artificial noise at any level were bothersome and caused pain.

      In October 2020, I visited a local doctor with a specialization in tinnitus and hyperacusis. I was told the best remedy was to not make my ears worse. He recommended I meet with a CBT specialist who had helped to alleviate hyperacusis for several of his patients. Her advice was also helpful and is included in this document. Ultimately, the best remedy against hyperacusis is to avoid setbacks. I have not incurred a major setback since October 2020. While I did not return to music, I can live a mostly normal life. There are a series of other precautions I took and tips I learned during my hyperacusis journey I will mention below.


      A way to think about hyperacusis:

      The way I internalize hyperacusis is like this. You are given a certain amount of hearing “bandwidth” each day. By bandwidth, I am referring to noise tolerance. The more and louder the noise, the faster you spend the “bandwidth.” In my experience, extra bandwidth is allotted only when you sleep. When you use up more bandwidth than you have, you suffer a setback. Major setbacks occur when you use much more bandwidth than is available. They are characterized by a long-term reduction of sound tolerance. Minor setbacks tend to occur when only slightly more bandwidth is utilized than is available. Both long and short term setbacks should be avoided at all costs.

      Based on accounts of hyperacusis, common side effects include ETD, TMJ, feelings of inner-ear pressure, tinnitus, hearing sensitivity, inner-ear pain, jaw pain and jaw clicking. Hyperacusis can include all of these symptoms and more, but is labeled as noxacusis when sound causes pain.

      Hyperacusis is a rare condition and its causes are unknown. Multiple theories exist on why hyperacusis occurs. Some theorize hyperacusis is caused by cellular damage to the inner ear. Others believe nerve “activation” following acoustic trauma creates hyperacusis and causes the brain to unnecessarily send pain and sensitivity signals to the inner ear. For some sufferers—myself included—there seems to be a mental component which may explain why some report certain substances increase or decrease symptoms. In my experience, it does feel as though physical damage is a component as well.

      There are multiple causes for hyperacusis that include acoustic overexposure, structural hearing damage (caused by cleaning of the ears in some cases) or from ototoxicity. Regardless of hyperacusis severity, how you developed the condition or why it occurs, sufferers are more “allergic” to noise than average.


      How I healed:

      *The following list includes every technique I used to heal my condition. They are listed in order of efficacy.

      1. Avoided setbacks: You must avoid major setbacks for the condition to resolve. I have noticed the more major setbacks that occur, the less quickly my ears will heal in the future. Additionally, the more major setbacks, the lower the potential ceiling for curability. This phenomenon seems to be similar for most hyperacusis cases I have investigated. In other words, if you incur 10 major setbacks, you will most likely never heal to the same level of someone that faced only 1 major setback. Additionally, in my experience, there is a difference between major and minor setbacks you will begin to get a feel for with time. I have incurred several minor setbacks during my journey of healing that did not impact my ears long term. However, it is best practice to avoid major or minor setbacks if possible.
      1. Major setback: For me, major setbacks typically occur after pushing my ears extensively despite discomfort. If the noise is at all abrasive or uncomfortable to your ears, it is too much for you at that time. Major setbacks are mainly characterized by a worsening of your condition that extends past 7-9 days as well as a possible development of other symptoms (for example noxacusis or ETD).

      2. Minor setback: Minor setbacks occur upon exposure to relatively low or at least comfortable sound levels, but for a prolonged period of time. My ears typically felt more sensitive and sometimes, much more sensitive for up to 7-9 days after a minor setback. Luckily, my ear sensitivity and LDL typically returned after 7-9 days. Unfortunately, it is likely you will at least experience 1 minor setback over the course of your recovery so it is important to know the difference. Ultimately, it is best to avoid minor or major setbacks if remotely possible.
      2. Avoided situations where setbacks could occur: This can be difficult. You will find most fail to understand the condition. Try not to take this personally as many cannot empathize with, or even imagine the pain you are in. You will likely be asked to do things with friends or family. When this happens, I encourage you to do the following.
      1. Ask yourself what the loudest part of this activity or favor would be. For the first 8 months of taking recovery seriously, I did not risk visiting friends or family once as this may have caused a setback. Instead, I had my family visit me. However, slowly and with time, I began to visit friends at their house and then at restaurants and so on as my condition improved. Recognize that increasingly, you too will know of activities you could comfortably do with friends and family.

      2. Remember that most people will not understand the condition and you must learn the art of telling people “no.” I frequently had friends and family members shame me for saying “no” during my hyperacusis journey. Friends and family may try to make you feel bad for not agreeing to their plans. However, you and they must realize your recovery depends on time and discipline. Your health and recovery takes precedence over their feelings or inconvenience.
      3. Avoided headphones: In general, headphones are a major culprit for the cause of hyperacusis and setbacks. I developed hyperacusis from headphone usage. The same goes for many others and this trend can be observed from countless hyperacusis posts across Reddit and tinnitus forums. I still cannot use headphones without aggravating my ears. Therefore, to be safe, I do not allow myself to ever use headphones.

      4. Earplugs/hearing protection: You need to wear hearing protection ANY time you are in an environment that could worsen your hyperacusis. This may mean wearing earplugs every time you leave your room at first. Eventually, you can safely be in more and more environments without earplugs. You also need a “safe space” with regards to noise. Ideally, your bedroom is a safe space where you do not need hearing protection. I have noticed increased sensitivity from “overprotection,” which would be more difficult to avoid without a safe space. However, in general, it is better to overprotect than to under-protect. Make sure to keep hearing protection with you at all times, even if you only have minor hyperacusis.

      5. Therapy: I was fortunate enough to have a therapist during the deepest throes of my hyperacusis. Therapy did not help alleviate symptoms of hyperacusis. However, it helped me navigate the emotional effects and kept my spirits afloat during a dark and difficult time.

      6. Desensitization exercises: I learned a desensitization exercise from a CBT hyperacusis specialist who worked and helped several clients reach full recovery. Her advice was helpful and is described below.
      1. Firstly, identify the category of noises you are most sensitive to.

      2. Next, choose a level of noise you can tolerate for 20-25 minutes. I am most sensitive to artificial noise so I began with music on the lowest volume from my phone speaker. Leave the volume the same for the duration of the 20 minute session. Do this every other day to give your ears a chance to rest.

      3. Very slowly increase the volume of the sound exposure session as you feel more comfortable doing so during the days and weeks ahead. Remember to leave the volume at the same level for the entire duration of the session. Her advice was to continue to listen to the noise for the full duration of 20 minutes even if I experienced minor discomfort. I do not agree with this advice and did not do so myself unless I felt slight discomfort at nearly the end of the 20 minutes. Try this at your own discretion. However, it was helpful for me and seemed to speed up recovery.
      7. Trapezius pressure point exercise: There is one particular pressure point recommended by another user on a Reddit post about hyperacusis I can no longer find. I found this pressure point exercise seemed to help my ears when they were sensitive and provided relief and a bit of extra “bandwidth” when in a pinch. I have tried many other at-home physical therapy exercises that did nothing for my hyperacusis. This is the only exercise that helps me personally.

      Trigger Point Therapy - Treating Levator Scapulae


      8. Avoided substances during recovery: Unfortunately, substances of any kind only seem to perpetuate and temporarily exacerbate hyperacusis symptoms for me personally. Therefore, they are often not worth the discomfort.

      9. Avoided acidic foods: Acidic foods which include red tomato sauce or dairy tend to give me acid reflux. The acid reflux causes an increase in my hyperacusis symptoms. This can typically be alleviated by eating Tums. However, I have found that simply avoiding acidic foods when possible helps the most.

      10. Ice: When I experience hyperacusis flare ups, swelling and a burning sensation is induced on my jaw on both sides. Ice seems to help reduce this discomfort and swelling to a manageable level.

      11. Ample rest: Sleep is when the body repairs itself. Naturally, It is also when you receive more hyperacusis “bandwidth.” Therefore, you want to be sure to sleep well—especially if your ears are low on “bandwidth.”

      12. Worked out, ate a balanced diet and stayed hydrated: Implementing solid personal health habits seemed to help speed up recovery slightly. For me, my hyperacusis coincided with my first major commitment to the gym and body transformation. I worked out at home for over a year until I was finally able to use a public gym and take my routine more seriously.

      13. Meditation: Meditation did not necessarily help with ear sensitivity. However, I did find consistent meditation helped me to live life to the best of my ability despite my condition. I could not simply live on autopilot until my condition was resolved.


      The specialists I saw:

      1. The first doctor I saw for hyperacusis did not know about the existence of the condition. He was baffled when I explained my symptoms and was of no help at all.

      2. The second doctor I visited had fairly comprehensive knowledge of hyperacusis, and had dealt with multiple patients that made full recoveries. He gave me simple advice: “avoid making the condition worse. If you come back in a year and have not made things worse, I can guarantee you will be healed or almost healed.” This was great advice in retrospect. While I did not heal entirely after a year, I was 75% healed and mostly able to live a normal life. This doctor put me in contact with a CBT hyperacusis specialist.

      3. The CBT specialist was a nice woman who assured me that nearly everyone she saw for hyperacusis had exhibited significant improvement with time. She and the previous doctor believed hyperacusis occurs when the brain sends false pain signals to nerves that are activated during acoustic overexposure. In essence, according to this theory, your brain enters a survival state where it attempts to unnecessarily protect hearing at all costs. She recommended I desensitize, but in baby steps. In order to retrain my brain that sound was not dangerous, I needed to desensitize for 20-25 minutes every other day. Therefore, it was important I chose a sound level tolerable enough to play for that long. She recommended I desensitize every other day to rest my ears, but to try and stay as consistent as possible. Ultimately, I am unsure whether her theory regarding the cause of hyperacusis is entirely correct. Hyperacusis seems to vary across individual cases and may be more physical than mental for some. However, her advice absolutely facilitated a quicker increase of sound tolerance.

      4. The fourth specialist I saw was a therapist to help battle the emotional impact of hyperacusis. My therapist helped me to cope with life in a more fulfilling manner while I patiently beat my condition. This helped my spirits and helped me to continue my life despite hyperacusis.


      Conclusion:

      To hyperacusis sufferers, I encourage you not to give up. Realize that for most, progress is very slow and nearly imperceptible. I recognize that for a small group, hyperacusis represents an untreatable lifetime battle. I hypothesize this occurs when the LDL becomes so low that virtually every part of life aggravates the condition and makes improvement impossible. Additionally, this group is forced to wear hearing protection almost constantly—which causes increased sensitivity from overprotection. Unfortunately, slight sound sensitivity can eventually become severe hyperacusis with enough setbacks and carelessness. It is best to avoid this scenario at all costs if possible.

      It may take time before you notice significant improvement. However, I believe progress is possible for the majority of hyperacusis sufferers. After over 2 years of a very difficult journey, I can finally consider myself a success story. Thank you for reading.
       
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    2. volterra
      Wtf

      volterra Member

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise from Music Festival
      Great work, glad you are feeling much better!

      Some questions:

      How bad was your tinnitus?

      Did you ever have reactive tinnitus?
       
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    3. CRGC
      No Mood

      CRGC Member

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SNRI/Noise
      Hi @windwalker, thanks for sharing your recovery story. A story like yours is very encouraging and inspiring for someone like me and am I sure many others on the forum.

      I have one question about your theory on major/minor setbacks and the recovery process.

      During your recovery process, did you get to a point where you could make out the difference between a minor setback and what some people with hyperacusis call "non-linear" progress?

      It's been almost 5 months since my initial acoustic trauma, and I think I have experienced one major setback since, which was about a month later. Since then, I've been careful to not subject myself to any more potential major setbacks, but my condition has been very up and down. Some weeks I feel I'm making progress, only for symptoms to come back without me being to identify what could have caused a setback/dip. My LDLs have been measured by an audiologist, and my hyperacusis has been qualified as "moderate", with most symptoms presenting themselves unilaterally, in my right ear which has hearing loss. As such, I've been trying to live a relatively normal life while protecting adequately (earplugs outside, no loud bars/parties, no headphones). Do you feel I should try to be even more careful/rigorous than I already am, or are some ups and downs to be expected from your experience?
       
    4. Nick47

      Nick47 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      @windwalker, great inspiring story. When you say avoid substances, what are you alluding to?

      Was your tinnitus severe or reactive to sound?
       
    5. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      Congratulations on your recovery.

      Though 30 months to recover from hyperacusis, isn't that a comparatively long time?

      Did you continue to work during that time? If so, how did it affect your job?
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @volterra, thank you! I would also be happy to answer your questions.

      1. I have had tinnitus since March 2017. At the onset of my hyperacusis, the tinnitus was twice as loud as previously and drove me crazy at first. However, after some time, my tinnitus died back down to fairly normal levels. Unfortunately, after numerous setbacks, I developed multiple tinnitus tones which still bother me from time to time. Luckily, the tinnitus is only slightly louder. Additionally, I habituated mostly to the tinnitus after 2 years.

      2. Yes, as a matter of fact my tinnitus is reactive. I have noticed that if my hyperacusis is aggravated, my tinnitus does get louder. This can be quite annoying. However, I have largely habituated to my tinnitus at its baseline. Additionally, the tinnitus tends to revert back to baseline after minor setbacks.
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @CRGC, this is a great question. Luckily, much of my progress was fairly linear. I always knew what caused the minor or major setback.

      I acknowledge hyperacusis can vary across different cases. Based on my experience, I would recommend assessing why you may be having a more down week even more carefully. I cannot say for sure, but I would assume there is some way you are inadvertently aggravating the condition. You may be exhibiting a delay between doing something harmful and your body's response. In other words, the activity feels fine in the moment and irritates your ears later. Typically, you will feel the response of your ears the next day. I have heard of this phenomenon for some sufferers and it happens to me from time to time. I hope this helps.
       
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    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @Jupiterman, indeed, 30 months is a long recovery time and had I been more careful and known what I do now, I could have recovered far sooner. I healed to about 75-80% after the first 2 months of hyperacusis only to have a major setback and start all over. Perhaps this demonstrates just how out of control this condition can get.

      Fortunately, I developed hyperacusis at the start of the pandemic and took the remainder of my courses online for the next 2 years. Sadly, this gave me very little college experience. However, it allowed me to use closed captioning when any sound from an electronic device was unbearable. I recently graduated and am currently interviewing for office jobs. Luckily, I have ample savings from the years before my condition and supportive parents during this process.

      Interestingly, the condition did not affect my school performance much. I used closed captioning for the majority of the two years only and still managed to maintain a high GPA. However, it certainly made my courses more difficult than they would have been otherwise.
       
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    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @Nick47, I am only loosely referring to nicotine and alcohol. I noticed that vaping and smoking cigarettes seemed to agitate my hyperacusis. This was a major reason I stopped vaping or smoking. Additionally, alcohol gives the illusion of a numbing effect only to potentially give you a setback if you aren't careful. In other words, my ears felt stronger while inebriated, but could only handle the same level of exposure in actuality. In other words, if I pushed my ears more while I had been drinking (even though if felt fine in the moment), I would wake up with a setback.

      I never took the risk with other substances, but have heard cannabis and mushrooms for instance cause an increase in ear sensitivity.
       
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    10. Nick47

      Nick47 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Viral/noise
      @windwalker, thanks. No booze for me, but smoking and vaping due to loud reactive tinnitus. Was your tinnitus loud?
       
    11. Jerad

      Jerad Member

      Location:
      Ohio; United States
      Tinnitus Since:
      2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Medication ototoxicity
      @windwalker, your testimony sounds very similar to @DeepUniverse, the writing style and even the 2.5 year recovery time. Glad you’re doing better. :)
       
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    12. Athens

      Athens Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      09/27/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I have had this condition for slightly more than two years. It started out of the blue one morning after two months of significant insomnia. I am able to do quite a lot, but it is difficult to tell what might be causing a setback. It seems like it has always been a major annoyance for the past few years but certain sounds may not be bothering me as much. The tinnitus may have worsened (hard to tell). I developed nocturnal panic attacks after my father passed away in 2017. I no longer have them, but I wonder if the anxiety is now being channeled through my auditory system. I am hoping that the passage of time will result in improvement.

      I agree with your statement that improvement can be so slow that it is imperceptible.
       
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    13. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @Nick47, my tinnitus is only loud or particularly irritating if I am in a quiet room. While I am mostly habituated, it still bothers me from time to time. I developed multiple tones and slightly louder tinnitus over the course of my condition. These days, I still drink occasionally or have a cigar for a celebratory event. Thank you for reading.
       
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @Jerad, we certainly do have a similar recovery time and writing style! That is quite interesting actually. Thank you for reading!
       
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    15. CRGC
      No Mood

      CRGC Member

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SNRI/Noise
      Thanks for the answer, I'll try and keep track of possible aggravating activities more systematically.

      I had a few questions about your background too if you don't mind me asking. How old are you? And do you have any measurable hearing loss?
       
    16. Ben Winders
      Pensive

      Ben Winders Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic
      Interesting concept about the bandwidth approach. I'm going to see and check if this applies to mine too.
       
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    17. David Vance

      David Vance Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Chemotherapy, imbalances with the body
      This is amazing, so happy for you. Thank you so much for sharing your success story, this seems like really good valid information for the next sufferer.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @CRGC, I would be happy to answer a few more questions. I am in now in my mid-20's and have minor hearing loss. I was tested for hearing loss and hyperacusis during my journey and was medically diagnosed in October of 2020. This was during my 2nd visit with a doctor. I was in my early 20's at the onset of the condition.
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @Ben Winders, thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing whether my approach applies to your case of hyperacusis as well.
       
    20. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @David Vance, it is the least I can do and I have always looked forward to the day I could write this post. I will try and keep everyone updated in case I make any further progress in the next year. Thanks again for reading!
       
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    21. volterra
      Wtf

      volterra Member

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise from Music Festival
      Considering that some people never recover, 30 months seems great? There are lots of stories that take 1-2 years to show improvements.
       
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    22. Taw

      Taw Member

      Location:
      Europe
      Tinnitus Since:
      Pain hyperacusis since 03/2021
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma (drum lessons)
      Congrats for your recovery. Occasional pain means mild hyperacusis and people usually heal after 2-3 years. Don't push it and don't forget how bad this can get!

      We are happy for you.
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @volterra, this is definitely true, I will always be grateful for the progress I have made. I do wish I had simply taken the condition more seriously at first but am beyond happy to be where I am. Thank you for the kind words.
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      windwalker

      windwalker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphone usage
      @Taw, thank you for the kind words and I will be sure not to push it! Thank you for reading.
       
    25. volterra
      Wtf

      volterra Member

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise from Music Festival
      It's so hard to take seriously at the start. You have decades of conditioning and programming telling you that sound can't cause you any problems. Overriding those habits is so really hard. Then if you heal, getting those habits back can also be tricky.
       
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    26. Jupiterman

      Jupiterman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sudden loud noise
      As obvious as this question is, how do you know if you are healed?

      I have loudness hyperacusis (no pain but get aural fullness and discomfort) and am careful to protect my ears.
       
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    27. volterra
      Wtf

      volterra Member

      Location:
      London, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise from Music Festival
      I guess you slowly reintroduce sounds? I have no idea, still quite new to this hellish condition.
       
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    28. ZFire
      Tired

      ZFire Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      From my experience, I knew my loudness hyperacusis was getting better when certain sounds that were initially causing me ear discomfort and sensitivity issues weren’t anymore. This happened overtime (months). Things like silverware clanking, splashing water in a bathtub, and even my ears rubbing against bed sheets/pillows were immensely uncomfortable. Fast forward to now, it is not as prevalent anymore. I experience almost no discomfort or sensitivity issues from those sounds I previously mentioned. The hyperacusis went from severe to mild in about a year. I do still have some issues in regards to loudness hyperacusis, but I’m in much a better place. It takes some time. Time and slow gradual exposure to sounds personally helped me.
       
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    29. CRGC
      No Mood

      CRGC Member

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2022
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      SNRI/Noise
      When you talk about discomfort and sensitivity, would you say there was an element of physical pain, even slight, to it? Or was it purely mental? I have a hard time picturing "pure" loudness hyperacusis with no physical reaction.
       
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    30. ZFire
      Tired

      ZFire Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012 (mild) & 04/2021 (severe)
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity (2012) Unknown-likely noise induce (2021)
      Yes, sorta. The discomfort would occur the moment I was exposed to these bothersome sounds. I would get startled and the eardrums would produce a spasm like sensation which was the main source of irritation for me. I would wince every time my eardrums would spazz out from bothersome noise. That was my physical reaction. There was never any lingering pains, it was only in the moment. The constant exposure to bothersome noise throughout the day would eventually make my ears feel ‘fatigued’ and just like @Jupiterman, I would get aural fullness later during the day as well.

      There could certainly be some psychological component too, but I’m not too sure about that. I still feel sensitive to certain sounds. Heavy metal music for instance still feels too harsh and scratchy for me. I’m not sure if it’s mental, but I always feel uneasy every time I try to listen to. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like my ears are ‘warning’ me to avoid these sounds. There is no physical discomfort though. Hope this answers your question!
       
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