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Ask Anna: Will hearing aids help my Hyperacusis?

Will hearing aids help my Hyperacusis?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna,

I have Hyperacusis and I can’t tolerate loud sounds, such as when people talking loud, dogs barking, dishes, etc. Will hearing aids help my Hyperacusis? Will I be able to hear when people talk but still tolerate my surrounding? – Aaron in Nashville 

Dear Aaron,

Hyperacusis  can cause considerable distress in your day to day life and firstly – if you have not done so already – I would like to recommend that you seek help from a medical professional (general practitioner, audiologist, or an Ear Nose and Throat specialist). Sometimes there is no identifiable cause for hyperacusis but there are treatments that are known to help in some cases, such as CBT (cognitive behavourial therapy) or sound therapy.

If you have a hearing loss combined with hyperacusis this does not automatically mean that a hearing aid will not help or will make the hyperacusis worse. The fear is it will make everything louder and hence more uncomfortable. 

Correcting the hearing loss with hearing aids will in the first instance reduce the effort to hear which can alleviate the stress of straining to hear and stress is a known aggravator of hyperacusis, so it is worth trying hearing aids to see if they help.

Modern hearing aids are very flexible in how they can be fit to suit your needs. There are many features and functions that can be activated or that are automatically built in to protect against loud sounds being uncomfortable.  All hearing aids have a maximum power output (MPO) setting and that prevents anything being amplified beyond this point. This setting can be adjusted by the audiologist.

There are also features that can enhance listening comfort by reducing background noise and sudden impulse noises, such as Phonak’s NoiseBlock and SoundRelax. These Phonak hearing aid programs can also be fine-tuned by your audiologist to suit you.

I hope this information helps, and that you find a solution that will help you manage your hyperacusis.

– Anna

Do you have a question for Anna? Email: feedback@hearinglikeme.com

The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Hearing Like Me website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.
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Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.
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Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.