Ear Sensitivity (Hyperacusis) 

Hyperacusis means increased sensitivity to sounds which therefore appear to be abnormally loud. The normal ear has a dampening mechanism to protect the cochlear hearing hair cells from damage due to excessive sound energy and to enhance their function. This mechanism is controlled by nerve fibres (cochlear efferents) which travel from the brain to the ear with one of the balance (vestibular) nerves. Increased sound sensitivity is a very frequent early symptom of inner ear disease.


Pure tone audiometry, tympanometry and stapedial reflex tests will identify the presence and type of any associated hearing loss. The Loudness discomfort levels are measured to quantify the degree of sensitivity.