Ear Sensitivity Hyperacusis
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 fibers (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
This is a basic subjective hearing test to determine your ability to hear various sounds at different tone frequencies.
You will be required to sit in a soundproof booth with headphones and press a button every time you hear a bleep sound, even if it is very faint. You should ignore any rushing sounds used to mask the opposite ear and only react to the bleeps. This test may take up to 20 minutes depending on the results.
This is an objective test of your middle ear function and is useful for determining whether:
- there is any fluid or congestion in your middle ear
- there is a perforation (hole) in your ear drum
- the ear drum is flaccid and weak
- there is loss of continuity of the ossicles (middle ear bones) by disease or trauma
- a grommet is blocked
- changing pressure in the ear canal causes dizziness indicating a fistula (defect) in the bone surrounding the labyrinth (balance organ)
You are not required to do anything for this test other than sit very still. The audiologist will hold a soft rubber probe at the entrance of your ear canal and you may feel a slight change of pressure in your ear.
This objective test is to make sure that the stapedius muscle in your middle ear is functioning correctly and providing a protective mechanism by stabilising the hearing bones of the middle ear by contracting to loud sounds.
You are not required to do anything for this test other than sit very still. The audiologist will hold a soft rubber probe at the entrance of your ear canal. You will hear a series of very loud bleeps but you are not required to respond to them.Book Appointment