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Review
, 23 (4), 420-36

A Review of Hyperacusis and Future Directions: Part II. Measurement, Mechanisms, and Treatment

Review

A Review of Hyperacusis and Future Directions: Part II. Measurement, Mechanisms, and Treatment

Martin Pienkowski et al. Am J Audiol.

Abstract

Purpose: Hyperacusis can be extremely debilitating, and at present, there is no cure. In this detailed review of the field, we consolidate present knowledge in the hope of facilitating future research.

Method: We review and reference the literature on hyperacusis and related areas. This is the 2nd of a 2-part review.

Results: Hyperacusis encompasses a wide range of reactions to sounds, which can be grouped into the categories of excessive loudness, annoyance, fear, and pain. Reasonable approaches to assessing the different forms of hyperacusis are emerging, including brain-imaging studies. Researchers are only beginning to understand the many mechanisms at play, and valid animal models are still evolving. There are many counseling and sound-therapy approaches that some patients find helpful, but well-controlled studies are needed to measure their long-term efficacy and to test new approaches.

Conclusions: Hyperacusis can make life difficult in this increasingly noisy world, forcing sufferers to dramatically alter their work and social habits. We believe this is an opportune time to explore approaches to better understand and treat hyperacusis.

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