Living with sound sensitivity and sensitive ears
There are various ways of defining sound sensitivity and sensitive ears. Some people may simply have an unusual level of irritation caused by certain loud noises. “Hyperacusis” means that something is wrong with the functioning of the ear or auditory reception pathways in the brain so that sounds are experienced as being very loud, even painful. “Phonophobia” refers to a state where the person develops an emotional reactivity or fear of sound and is reacting to psychological as opposed to physical causes. In some cases both conditions may be combined. A more extreme form of sound sensitivity is “recruitment” where a sound becomes magnified by the ear so it echoes or reverberates inside the head and becomes much louder than the original sound.
Only those who experience or live with someone who experiences sound sensitivity can realize what a devastating effect it can have on life. It may become a painful or frightening experience going out into traffic, travelling, being near household or kitchen appliances, loud music, cinemas, theatres and a great many social activities. A person with one of these conditions may become isolated, may have to live in a remote area and avoid normal activities such as work, entertainment, travelling and social events. Milder cases are still a major inconvenience as there is little understanding in our society of this type of disability. No matter where you go, the world is a noisy place.
How does Sound Therapy help sound sensitivity
The ear should naturally have the resilience to adapt to sounds as quiet as hearing a pin drop or as loud as an opera singer. When this ability is lost it is because certain parts of the ear have lost their functionality. For example, the muscles in the middle ear may have become stiff or unresponsive so they do not quickly adapt the ear to the volume of incoming sound. Pressure chambers in the ear may be blocked, or auditory pathways in the brain may be functioning inefficiently. Although Sound Therapy often improves hearing for those who have lost some of their hearing, if you have over sensitive hearing it may well reduce this by restoring the adaptability of the ear.
Most people find their irritation with sound decreases and their tolerance increases after a certain period of using Sound Therapy. The program gently activates all parts of the ear with the aim of restoring the ear’s natural ability to protect itself from noise that is too loud, as well as improving the perception of all frequencies of sound.