Tinnitus and Hyperacusis: What are They, How do They Impact Hearing, and How to Correct Them? 


It’s quite ordinary for musicians and music lovers to suffer from hearing disorders that cause mild to moderate discomfort. These are mostly manageable conditions. However, long delays can lead to excessive discomfort that leads to stress and anxiety. Which is why experts suggest taking hyperacusis and tinnitus evaluation tests from time to time. So, let’s get started with the basic details. 

What’s tinnitus? 

Tinnitus is mainly a condition where the patient hears sound(s) in the head even where there’s no external stimulus present. 

It’s caused by constant exposure of ears to sounds of high frequencies. However, it is, at times, also a result of conditions like:

  • Concussion 
  • Acoustic shock
  • Medications that affect the CNS

Now that you know what it is and what causes it, it’s important that you know everything about Audiology Tinnitus assessment

The 2 basic therapies that are used to manage tinnitus are listed below . 

  1. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

Tinnitus retraining therapy, as suggested by expert audiologists at clinics like the Audiologie Centre Ouest is a habitual therapy where the patient is trained to cope up with tinnitus. 

It makes use of:

  • Different distraction approaches that can divert the patient’s attention from the ringing sound to something else. 
  • Psychological sessions to reduce stress and anxiety that can make tinnitus worse. 
  1. Zen Therapy

Zen therapy is basically a tinnitus relief program that has 4 stages.

  • Counseling 
  • Amplification 
  • Sound stimulation
  • Stress reduction 

Whilst counselling and stress reduction reduce anxiety and fear by training the mind to remove focus from the ringing noise, the sound stimulation and amplification procedures make use of Zen tones – these are relaxing and soothing background sounds that provide long term relief from tinnitus. 

Now, let’s move on to hyperacusis.

What is hyperacusis?

Well, hyperacusis is another term coined for hypersensitivity to sounds. This sound intolerance is usually of 2 kinds – listed below – and is often accompanied by tinnitus. 

  1. Hypersensitivity – Intolerance to high pitched sounds. 
  2. Misophonia – Selective hypersensitivity to weak sounds. 

That said, we have chalked out a brief evaluation process where the audiologists identify the severity of hyperacusis type that you’re suffering from. 

  • Complete hearing evaluation for sounds in the wide range spectrum – 20 hz to 20 Khz. 
  • A detailed questionnaire about your symptoms to calculate the TFI score. 
  • Analysis of the kind of therapy that’ll be best for you – Zen or retraining – depending upon the TFI score. 

Alternate approaches that deliver good results are:

  • Trial of noise generators.
  • Gradual sound amplification for correction and adjustment in case of hyper sensitivity to weak sounds. 
  • Using filtered ear plugs and ear molds for noise elimination while listening to music.

On a closing note, choosing to participate in a corrective program at elite clinics like Audiology Centre West will largely benefit and improve the quality of your hearing. 

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