Chapter

Textbook of Tinnitus

pp 13-23

Hyperacusis and Disorders of Loudness Perception

  • David M. BaguleyAffiliated withCambridge University Hospitals Email author 
  • , Don J. McFerran

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Keypoints

  1. 1.

    There are several forms of loudness perception disorder.

     
  2. 2.

    The terminology of such disorders is often confused.

     
  3. 3.

    The most commonly used terms in an audiological context are hyperacusis, denoting a generalized reduced tolerance for sound, as well as phonophobia, denoting a fear of sounds.

     
  4. 4.

    The majority of people with a loudness perception disorder also have tinnitus. Just under one half of individuals with tinnitus also describe some degree of loudness perception disorder.

     
  5. 5.

    There are few rigorous studies regarding the epidemiology of loudness perception disorders; the true prevalence of hyperacuis and phonophobia remains a matter of conjecture.

     
  6. 6.

    Some loudness perception disorders are associated with disorders of facial nerve function with consequent loss of the acoustic reflex. Most cases have no such association and the underlying pathological mechanism is unclear.

     
  7. 7.

    Various management strategies have been suggested, including the use of tinnitus therapies, with or without the use of sound therapy, and psychological therapies.

     

Keywords

Tinnitus Hyperacusis Hypersensitivity Loudness discomfort Migraine