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Editor’s Note: Fibromyalgia is not just a pain condition. Indeed, research studies have shown that FM patients are more sensitive to stimuli like heat, sound and touch.
Hyperacusis is a condition in which exposure to everyday sounds is perceived as more annoying or disturbing than normal, resulting in symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and concentration difficulties. A person with severe hyperacusis has difficulty tolerating everyday sounds, some of which may seem unpleasantly or painfully loud to that person but not to others.
There is a need for better understanding of various characteristics in hyperacusis in the general population. The objectives of the present study were to investigate individuals in the general population with hyperacusis regarding demographics, lifestyle, perceived general health and hearing ability, hyperacusis-specific characteristics and behavior, and comorbidity.
Using data from a large-scale population-based questionnaire study, we investigated individuals with physician-diagnosed (n = 66) and self-reported (n = 313) hyperacusis in comparison to individuals without hyperacusis (n = 2995). High age, female sex, and high education were associated with hyperacusis, and that trying to avoid sound sources, being able to affect the sound environment, and having sough medical attention were common reactions and behaviors.
Posttraumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, depression, exhaustion, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, hearing impairment, tinnitus, and back/joint/muscle disorders were comorbid with hyperacusis. The results provide ground for future study of these characteristic features being risk factors for development of hyperacusis and/or consequences of hyperacusis.
Full text available here.
Source: Paulin J, Andersson L, Nordin S. Characteristics of hyperacusis in the general population. Noise Health. 2016 Jul-Aug;18(83):178-84. doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.189244.