Oticon Alta2 Hear every note in the symphony of life.

Tinnitus Treatment Can Help With Hyperacusis

Intervention for Restricted Dynamic Range and Reduced Sound Tolerance: Clinical Trial Using Modified Tinnitus Retraining Therapy

February 19-23, 2011, Baltimore: National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported scientists will be presenting their latest research findings at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO). 

Almost all of us cringe at the thought of fingernails on a chalkboard, but people with hyperacusis experience discomfort when listening to normal sounds too. For them, some sounds seem too loud, even though they are at tolerable levels for everyone else. Some people may even go without their hearing aids to avoid the pain or discomfort that amplified sound can bring.

NIDCD-funded researchers at the University of Alabama, University of Maryland, and others tested how a sound therapy for tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can help people with hyperacusis to tolerate louder sounds. In earlier studies, they’d found that people with tinnitus who received sound therapy—wearing a noise-generating device in each ear that plays a soft whooshing noise, like the inside of a seashell, plus counseling—were able to tolerate louder sound levels than they did before the treatment. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the researchers tested various combinations of sound therapy with hearing-impaired individuals who had low sound tolerance, but who didn’t have ringing in the ears as their primary problem. Some received counseling and the noise generators, some received counseling with placebo noise generators, some received noise generators with no counseling, and some received placebo noise generators with no counseling.

They found that individuals were much more likely to increase their tolerance for louder sound levels when using the full treatment—noise generators plus counseling. The researchers’ next step is to evaluate a noise-generating device in combination with a hearing aid to see if they can enhance performance for hearing aid wearers by improving their tolerance to amplified sounds.

Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Share this article

2 people like this


Related Content
Preferred Professionals Near You
See More Preferred Professionals

Clinics above not close enough?
Search with your zipcode below.

Sign Up for Our eNewsletter
Our free eNewsletter is delivered to your inbox every two weeks - it’s the best way to stay informed about what’s new at Healthy Hearing!
Preferred Hearing Professionals Near You

Highline Hearing Professionals (formerly Highline Audiology)

457 SW 148th St Ste 101
Seattle, WA 98166

Click Here for Details

Virginia Mason Clinic

1100 9th Ave Mailstop X10-AU
Seattle, WA 98101

Click Here for Details

Puget Sound Hearing & Balance

9714 3rd Ave NE Ste 100
Seattle, WA 98115

Click Here for Details