The University of Auckland Clinics

Understanding hyperacusis

Hyperacusis is the medical name for an extreme oversensitivity to sound. Normally, the human ear can tolerate most everyday sounds.

People who experience discomfort when hearing ordinary, everyday sounds have hyperacusis. They often have tinnitus as well. Both conditions can occur in people who have little or no perceptible hearing loss.

If I think I have hyperacusis what should I do?

First, have a hearing test. The University of Auckland Hearing and Tinnitus Clinic is a world-leader in the assessment and management of hyperacusis and tinnitus.

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In the meantime, do not resort to wearing earplugs to try to control the problem (unless you need to protect your ears from loud external noise). Wearing earplugs lowers the stimulation of the hearing system, which can make hyperacusis and tinnitus worse.