Hyperacusis, hypersensitivity to noise, is less well known than tinnitus, but there are many people who suffer more or less severely from it.
In this new section “Marga hears too much” you get to know Marga van Hintum. She will blog about her experiences with Hyperacusis regularly.
An over-stimulated brain pan
I have written before, that tinnitus and hyperacusis* both have to do with information, which is misinterpreted in the brain. It is not the ear that is responsible, but the brain pan. Which sometimes looks like a pressure cooker; with a little too much pressure. May it please be a bit less?
The ear and balance
To inform you a little more, I have gathered some things together, about over-stimulation.
The ear resembles the organ of balance in some ways. If you hear something wrong, the ear automatically tries to correct it. If you hear too little, it unconsciously compensates. The tinnitus and/or hyperacusis ear sends the wrong information to the brain. The brain, but also other parts of the body that play a role in the balance, are continuously correcting and compensating. This continuously over-stimulates the brain, but also the ears, eyes and the balance system. And therefore overloaded and overtired.
Many people with balance problems don’t sleep well, although they need more sleep and recovery time. Many people with an auditory challenge will recognize this. Also people with tinnitus and/or hyperacusis often sleep less well. I personally am often very tired in the evening and usually sleep in. But then I wake up in the middle of the night and then often lie awake for a long time.
Correcting, compensating, over-stimulating, overloading, fatigue, too few good sleeping hours, and therefore again extra fatigue. A sliding surface. Will it ever work out again?
A stimulation-free period desired
The over-stimulation of the brain causes fatigue, among other things. But because of the fatigue there is also a reduced concentration, a poorer memory, less good coordination, more difficult to formulate words, less good multitasking and because of all this also a greater sensitivity to stimuli. The circle is round.
Because the brain is already over-stimulated and overloaded, it has more difficulty with cognitive and coordination functions. Extra stimuli cannot then be processed properly.
If it is not going well at all for a period of time, if you are extremely tired, then there may be a solution. By then temporarily inserting a stimulation-free period, you allow your brain, eyes, ears and balance to rest as well in order to recover and ‘reset’.
Prevention is better than cure
Incentives that can act as a trigger include strong sound, light, and strong moving and hectic images. For example, a busy environment such as a shop or a train station. But also the computer and smartphone.
Intensive activities can also act as a trigger, often accompanied by another portion of stress, larded with the necessary caffeine. This of course differs per person and everyone will have to find out for themselves what triggers her or him.
Just take a moment to step back. Fewer stimuli, or a little shorter. Temporary. In unstable periods or periods of extreme fatigue. When the weather is calm, you should not avoid stimuli. But the stimuli allow you to keep training your brain. If you would continue to avoid them, you would be able to tolerate fewer and fewer stimuli. And you don’t want to want that !
* 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.