Henry P. Trahan henptra at net-connect.net
Wed Oct 2 20:06:57 EST 1996

email-->erc at cinenet.net<--|:-) (Eric Smith) wrote:

>I have some questions about hyperacusis:

>1. Do some people have hyperacusis without hearing aids?

>2. What causes it?

>3. I've heard of people being unable to tolerate light at normal brightness.
>    Is that caused by the same thing that causes hyperacusis?

>4. If a person with hyperacusis listens to sound slightly louder than what
>    they would be comfortable with, will the hyperacusis get worse, such
>    that the same sound will seem to keep getting louder and more painful?

>5. If a person with a hearing aid has hyperacusis, how can you tell if they
>    really do have it, or if the hearing aid is just too loud for their hearing loss?

>--  Eric Smith   erc at cinenet.net

To #1: The term hyperacusis relates to a phenomenon that occurs in
people with normal hearing. So the answer is "yes, someone can have
hyperacusis without hearing aids". To better explain, hyperacusis is a

singinficantly reduced tolerance to mildly or moderately loud sounds
in the presence of normal hearing, as measured by audiometry. 
       To  be sure, people with hearing loss resulting from damage to
"hair cells" in their inner ears and to other areas in the inner ear
and along the nerve pathway from the ear to the hearing portions of
the brain also experience tolerance problems, however, here the proper
term is "recruitment".

#2: Hyperacusis can be caused by an abnormality in the neural portions
along the nerve pathway from the inner ear to the hearing portions of
the brain.  

#4: I do not believe that the hyperacusis can "worsen" however, the
pshcho-physical reactions can get more intense.

#5: Prior to any hearing aid fitting  certain tests should have been
done to determine if the patient has recruitment with the hearing loss
so as to insure that the output of the hearing aid does not cause the
recruitment to be a problem. If these tests were not done then it
certainly is possible that the hearing aid is aggravating the

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