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Sound Sensitivity
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Sound Sensitivity

I have read several places that people who have had neurological problems, have a sensitivity to sound.  I had Epilepsy when I was a kid, I have also went through a true depression.  I have always had a sensitivity to "people crunching ice" and "people whistling".  My wife thinks that I am just being picky about things.  How do I explain to her, that it is a true condition, that the crunching ice and whistling sounds magnified to me?
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,

For how long have you experienced this?

Is this associated with headaches or seizures?

Are there accompanying numbness, stiffness, vomiting, ringing in the ears,loss of balance?

You may have what they call hyperacusis or increased sensitivity to sound. Normally, ordinary sounds do not come as loud noises to average listeners however with hyperacusis, ordinary sounds may be disconcerting and disabling.

The cause of hyperacusis is not well defined.Some attribute it to disruption or damage to the cochlea ( the coiled organ in the inner ear). No clear descriptions have been given to ascertain its cause. Hyperacusis may be an isolated symptom or a part of a collection of symptoms that suggests an underlying disease. Tinnitus, Bell’s palsy, Lyme Disease, Williams Syndrome, Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, stapedectomy, perilymphatic fistula, head injury, migraine, depression, withdrawal from benzodiazepines, increased Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) pressure and Addison’s disease may all present with hyperacusis.

A history of epilepsy may contribute to your present condition. A consult with your may rule out other neurologic deficits that may accompany the hyperacusis.

A visit with an ENT specialist is necessary for audiologic tests and thorough examinations.You may discuss with your ENT the use of ear plugs or sound desensitization for relief. There are no clear cut medications for hyperacusis.

Your physician may help you explain your condition to your wife.

Keep us posted.Good Luck!

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I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was about 7, I had several seizures, nothing major, or so I thought, till I had a real bad one that lasted forever, it was a big one, haven't had so-called seizures since about 16 years old(I am now 46), told I need to eat right and get plenty of rest, well, I eat right, but I have severe sleep apnea, but I have always had stiffness, ringing in the ears(it sounds so loud all the time now, that to me it seems like people next to me should be able to hear it, it has not always been this loud, but gets louder all the time)(been told that I have irrepairable nerve damage in my ears), loss of balance.  My doctor did the MRI's, xrays, etc, he said I have some compacted vertebrae(T8 - T9 - T10), I also have severe sleep apnea(the last study I had done, in a 90 minute span, I quit breathing 45 times and almost quit 45 more), the actual sleep study was about 5 - 6 hours.  I also have something wrong with my eyes, that the eye specialist I went to is stumped, he said the cones and other things look ok, but when they do the computer test, it shows a definate problem, one being, my eyes do not process colors fast enough, therefore, I am not allowed to drive after dark and if I start having trouble with traffic lights and brake lights, then I will not be allowed to drive in the daylight, on days it is rainy and cloudy, it is harder for me to see.  I use to be able to see somewhat in the dark enough to be able to move around the house, but not anymore, I have to have at least a night light.  I also went through a true depression( i refer to it as a true depression, because I was very depressed, almost committed suicide, and parts of my life, I don't remember, have to depend on my family for that time of time, to let me know what went on, I do remember some, but not all.

Sorry to go on and on, but wanted to go into more detail on my health problems.
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