"Marga hears too much!"
Hyperacusis, hypersensitivity to noise, is less well known than
tinnitus, but there are many people who suffer more or less severely
In this section “Marga hears too much” Marga van Hintum will blog about her experiences with Hyperacusis regularly.
Housekeys with bodywarmers
I have written before about adjustments in and around the house. Adjustments that make life with hyperacusis* more pleasant. No, more pleasant is not the right word. It’s bearable actually, with all the annoying and painful sound stimuli that came into my ears every day. That was not liveable. I had a very depressive period of it, in the beginning.
In the beginning
I was referred to, and enrolled for therapy in a large academic hospital. I could only go there two months later. So I had to be patient for a while. Then it would take two months!
In that initial period I was afraid. Afraid of the unknown. Angry, on the tinnitus and hyperacusis. That that happened to me ! And sad. If it didn’t improve, it would turn my whole life upside down. Especially my work as a musician. Impatient, to start therapy. Impatient, to know everything, really everything about the t and h. Yes, I often cut them short; I have learned that on internet forums.
In that initial period I acquired a great deal of knowledge. The internet is a huge source in the field of t and h. Reliable often, but sometimes really not to be trusted.
The terrible personal stories, for example. From someone who committed suicide. I had a very bad night.
The organisations that provide more information. An enormous flood of objective information. And the forums. Lots of reading food. Lots of hours of reading and re-reading. Because my ability to concentrate, that was, and still is not optimal. I took notes, so I didn’t have to search afterwards.
And the success stories of alternative therapies. Those cost tons of money. Their effectiveness has not yet been demonstrated. I have become allergic to it.
But being referred by an ENT specialist to a university hospital, I trusted that ! And I had to wait a long time for it. I was afraid that my symptoms would only increase during that waiting period. Maybe that was the case?
Anyway, finally I could start. I will tell more about the therapy another time. The summary? It did not have the desired effect with me. For the t yes, for the h almost not.
Dress up, those keys
I can now handle the tinnitus well. However, my form of hyperacusis has proven to be a persistent one. It was not going to improve. A very small bit, okay, it did. But for the rest I will have to make the best of it myself. And I did.
And so we got all the variants soundless plastic in the house. Plates and cutlery. Silicone tile covers. I wrote about it before. And triple glazing in the windows. Well, we live well, so you do what you have to do … A rug on the glass table. The glasses in the cupboard far apart and next to each other, instead of stacked. Sweeping instead of vacuuming. Sow plants indoors instead of outdoors. Home delivery instead of eating in restaurants. The list is long.
A person becomes enormously resourceful. For example, the keys on the keyring all got a bodywarmer; a thick layer of tape around the body of each key. Then they can’t touch each other, those noisemongers.
* Hyperacusis, literally “I hear too much”, is a condition in which you are hypersensitive to ordinary everyday sounds. “The volume control of ambient noise is permanently set to too high a level for a person with hyperacusis.”For me, the higher frequencies are particularly annoying and hurt my head.
Hyperacusis occurs in many forms. And often also in combination with tinnitus; as is the case with me.