People don't only experience hearing loss. Often there are issues of too much
sound, or negative reactions to certain sounds.
Some people have abnormal sensitivity to sound and that can include hyperacusis and misophonia.
Hyperacusis is when things in the environment sound louder than they actually are. The reason this happens is because of a malfunction after your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. When your brain thinks “I'm under attack, I need to hear better,” it turns up the volume in the auditory system, just like turning on a switch. When the brain forgets to turn it off, you now have hyperacusis.
Misophonia is an abnormal body reaction to certain sounds. Although we want a body reaction to certain sounds, especially threatening sounds--for example if we hear a snake, then we want our body to react very quickly so we can fight or flee--sometimes this happens with sounds that are non-threatening. For example, I once got out of my car and as I was walking away I heard a rattling behind me. My first thought was that there's no rattlesnakes in New Hampshire, but after several more steps the rattling was still following me, and by the time I turned around and saw that it was just my purse strap trailing on the ground, my body had already gone into fight-or-flight mode. So even though it was funny, it took me about 20 minutes to calm down.
The good news is is that there's retraining therapy treatment for misophonia and hyperacusis. For misophonia, once we eliminate the body's reaction to these problem sounds, you will no longer have misophonia. For hyperacusis, we use a specialized therapeutic sound generator to train your brain to stop turning up the volume in your auditory system.
If you are struggling with hyperacusis or misophonia please call us at either of our locations in Nashua and Londonderry. We look forward to helping you make life sound better.