Hyperacusis – Maybe?
Today has been very interesting
Sensitivity to sound manifested itself some months ago now. I can’t pinpoint exactly when but possibly since the autumn. Certainly before and over Christmas as on Boxing Day I was overwhelmed to tears by it and other things. I remember the evening, crying over the coffee table with my hands clamped over my ears until the room emptied and quietened.
More recently, I was woken very unpleasantly by the Very normal sounds of my daughter playing at very normal noise levels in the hallway outside my bedroom door. The noise penetrated my hearing even through sleep and my right ear was very very uncomfortable and sensitive. I woke disorientated and groggy. I felt hideous that morning, like a grouchy bear.
In light of increasingly continuous physical discomfort, like a hot pressure and an almost pain, I began to wonder recently if the cause was not in fact psychological but physical. I suspected an infection, so I took myself to the local hearing clinic today to get it checked out.
“Ears are all clear and healthy looking,” the practitioner said, much to my surprise “are you under any stress?”
“Nope, not particularly at the moment”
I explained about depression, and how I experience some anxieties with that and how I’d suspected the sensitivity to be psychological initially which is why I didn’t address it sooner
“Well, you may well have been right the first time” He said
“It’s called Hyperacusis,” the practicioner said, “we need to give you a few tests to be certain and to rule out other things but basically it’s a condition whereby normal every day sounds cause discomfort and irritation. There’s a number of potential causes but it can be a symptom of anxiety and depression too.”
He then proceeded to explain at length more about Hyperacusis and its two splints “True Hyperacusis” and…well, I suppose “regular” . Its less severe counterpart. I explained I have no problem with loud music at dance or on the radio, but the sound of a car door slamming the other day caused me such discomfort I yelped. The sound of my daughter click clacking in dressing up shoes had bothered me to the point I had to beg her to stop. I had wondered if certain pitches or frequencies were the key.
I should be angry about this further complication to add to the existing ones but I’m not.
Of course, I’m annoyed and irritated with the physical discomfort that bothers me, sometimes very much. It can be very uncomfortable. But mostly I’m fascinated and intrigued.
Is it Hyperacusis as the practitioner suspects?
Has it been brought on by depression?
Can this bothersome physical gripe truly be psychological? I’d experienced intense fatigue and aches and temperature fluctuations sure, but now my hearing???
Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t
But This is an interesting twist in my journey I never anticipated!