Hyperacusis — a Hyper Sensitivity to Sound(s)

We’ve all heard the expression of a negative sound being “like fingernails on a blackboard.” That is a horrible sound, isn’t it?

Have you ever had a reaction in anticipation of a stressful event? For example, have you ever gotten a stomachache because you were nervous about doing something — such as public speaking?

Believe it or not, this can happen in the ear too. A condition called Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome (TTTS) is a set of symptoms that occur as a result of over anticipation of sound. It typically occurs in people who have hypersensitivity to many sounds (hyperacusis). TTTS typically involves pain, feeling of fullness, tinnitus, numbness and tingling in the ear, headaches and dizziness. Pain can be experienced within the ear and may radiate down the neck. TTTS can appear in some people simply by thinking of or being afraid of a loud sound.

How is TTTS treated? This condition, which is not terribly uncommon, is best treated with the similar methodology that specialists use to treat hyperacusis. The specialists at Fauquier Hearing Services have training in alleviating this condition. If you are not in the Northern Piedmont or Northern Virginia region, contact the Tinnitus Practitioners Association for a specialist near you.