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- ICD-10-AM Code H93.23
Hyperacusis is a rare hearing disorder that involves an increased sensitivity to sound. This manifests as intolerance to sounds that don’t disturb other people.
Confirming the diagnosis
The diagnosis can be confirmed based on the history and an assessment from an audiologist, including testing similar to an audiogram to identify frequencies and thresholds at which discomfort occurs.
The relevant medical specialist is an ENT surgeon.
Additional diagnoses that may be covered by SOP
- phonophobia (persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of sound)
Conditions not covered by SOP
- conductive hearing loss*
- sensorineural hearing loss*
- misophonia# (an acquired aversive reaction to specific human generated sounds)
* another SOP applies
# non-SOP condition
Clinical onset will be based on self-report of when the condition first developed (annoyance, intolerance or pain in response to sounds that don't affect other people). Onset may be closely linked to an event, such as experiencing an acoustic shock.
Treatment options are similar to those for tinnitus, e.g. cognitive behaviour therapy or retraining therapy. The usual course for hyperacusis is for it to persist but not worsen unless there is further damage to hearing, ongoing exposure to the cause of the hyperacusis or the overlay of psychological factors (which can worsen the perception of the hyperacusis). The aim of therapy is to alleviate distress associated with the hyperacusis.