The Great Return of My Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Support' started by Piotr, Sep 6, 2015.

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    1. Piotr

      Piotr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      ----
      Hello everyone,

      3 years ago I went to a festival where I suffered from acoustic trauma. I’m not sure what caused it – I stood far away from the main speakers and not for too long. After the festival, my left ear was full and slightly aching and I could feel that I was over-sensitive to sounds. I didn’t care whether it was the frequency of sounds or their volume that gave me this unpleasant sensation. I knew that something was wrong – like I had some “filter” taken off my ear. After a week, the pain and fullness disappeared but the hyperacusis remained and I struggled with it for 6-8 months. In the meantime, I visited 2 useless ENTs and 1 audiologist who recommended me trying TRT. I waited three months for sound generators (luckily I had a full refund for this bloody-expensive stuff due to the fact that I was a student then) and when I was given them, I was full of doubts. First of all, my audiologist said that I needed to wear two generators at the same time, although I had hyperacusis only in my left ear. Secondly, she instructed me to set the volume just below the volume of my tinnitus which was ridiculous because I didn’t suffer from it. I saw that she was quite confused with my one-side hyperacusis as well as my lack of tinnitus after the acoustic trauma. Nevertheless, I wore them for about three weeks, stopped to wear them (I don’t remember why) and sold them, probably because I started to see some little improvement on its own. My hyperacusis slowly went away and after 1,5 year I didn’t remember about the whole incident. That ear remained more sensitive to some frequencies and I had some little setbacks but I accepted it as a nature of my left ear.

      Now, after 3 years I went to the same festival (stood even further and didn’t expose my ears to the noise) and here it is... I have the SAME (or even worse) hyperacusis in the SAME ear. I am angry as hell, because I care for my ears and there was no logical cause to get the same ailment. I sold my generators so there is no way to wear them again. I don’t trust the knowledge of my audiologist so there is no way to contact her again. I thought that if this happened to me before and it eventually went away on its own, it can do so once again... But I’m scared, frustrated and prolly this is the reason I entered this board – to seek some support or advice. Do you think that it can go away again? Do you think that TRT is worth something if somebody doesn’t suffer from misophonia, phonophobia, or doesn’t need any psychological advice? I’m not scared of sound, I try to function normally, I stopped playing flute for a while (which breaks my heart) but I perform all other activities.

      Best wishes and I will be grateful for any responses.


      Piotr
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. I am confused...do you have tinnitus as well? H without T is extremly rare.

      Protect your ears. Hyperacusis the first time was a sign of damage.

      You could try using a fan or some background noise and then proceed with life and hope to hell it goes away again.

      I have had it 2 years- it has never gone away but certain noises have worsened it.

      Take care....it is maddening but I am confident in your case it should go away again ( I Hope)..just please protect you ears- NO MORE FESTIVALS....:( I know it sucks..I had to give up my "life" music fests et al because of damn H and T...

      p.s my answers are always blunt...but truth.
       
    3. Very similar thing happened to me. Had mild hyperacusis 6 years ago (no tinnitus). It got better without treatment over a year or two and then last year I had a major setback from doing the exact same thing that gave me hyperacusis in the first place. Unfortunately it seems our ears are more vulnerable than most people so the things that cause these massive setbacks seemed safe to begin with. In my case, it was normal headphone use.

      I would imagine the audiologist who told you to use the generators in both ears did so because they fundamentally believe this can be resolved by reducing central gain. If that is true, then putting a noise generator in your good ear couldn't hurt.

      You've gotten better before and can bet better again. How much better you will find out in time but really the key is patience. Flute is really loud and, as hard as it may be to consider, I would recommend thinking about finding alternative ways to participate musically. As you have discovered, it is difficult to gauge what is safe so it may be best to take a conservative route in music. Musicians are more susceptible to developing hyperacusis than the general population.

      I don't think most people with hyperacusis doing TRT actually have true misophonia or phonophobia. They have a logical fear of having another major setback. What TRT does is is try to reduce any psychological contribution (can't hurt) as well as encourage gradual sound introduction which has been shown to be helpful on average. The only thing you have to be careful about is giving value to what others say are "safe" sound levels. Sounds below 85 dB are probably safe if your LDLs aren't far below 85dB, but there have been zero studies examining what sound levels cause major setbacks (like the one you just experienced) and how that compares to an individual's LDL history.

      An alternative to TRT would be something like Hyperacusis Activities Treatment. It's similar in that they encourage gradual sound exposure but the style is less dogmatic from what I can tell. The University of Iowa offers hyperacusis activities treatment counseling over the phone for a rate that is likely cheaper than TRT but not cheap by any means. At least you would be in contact with another audiologist who has experience with hyperacusis. If you arrange phone counseling with Richard Tyler at the University of Iowa, then you would be speaking with the person who wrote the recent literature review on hyperacusis. Below is a flyer for the counseling,

      https://hyperacusisfocus.files.word...yperacusis-telephone-counseling-6-25-2015.pdf

      I know that seems spammy but I assure you I have nothing to do with them. If more people offered remote counseling I would reference a list rather than one provider.

      -Brian
       
    4. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Did you plug your ears or just stand further away from the speakers?
       
    5. Piotr

      Piotr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      ----
      Briann, resigning from playing music is out of the question, even if I had to suffer while playing, I would do it:) Thank you for these directions! I'm from Poland so the cost of phoning them would double the whole expense, but I'll consider it. Mark - I've never worn earplugs.
       
    6. Mark Beehre
      Facebooking

      Mark Beehre Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Wellington, New Zealand
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2008 // 11/2014
      Ok, maybe you should plug your ears in environments over 80db?
       

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