Having hyperacusis does not appear to contribute significantly to tinnitus severity, but having tinnitus contributes to the likelihood of having hyperacusis, a study finds.
In the study, about 6% of the respondents were classified as having hyperacusis. Tinnitus increased the risk of having hyperacusis.
Hyperacusis is a reduced tolerance and increased sensitivity to specific sounds and sound levels that are not normally regarded as loud.
Of the respondents who completed the surveys in the study, 47% answered “Yes”, while the rest of the respondents answered “No” (46%) or “Not sure” (7%) to the question “Do you experience tinnitus, ‘noise in the ears’?”. Of those experiencing tinnitus, the 72% reported tinnitus perception in both ears.
In the study, approximately 25% of the participants also reported having hearing loss, with most of them (18%) not being confident about their hearing loss status. The study did not examine the relationship between hearing loss and hyperacusis.
To investigate the association between the highly comorbid tinnitus and hyperacusis conditions, the study used questionnaires about tinnitus and hyperacusis. 616 people participated in the study: the participants were primarily students and staff at a large university.
The study, “An online survey study of the association between tinnitus and hyperacusis using validated questionnaires”, was published in the international Journal of Audiology.
Sources: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ and the international Journal of Audiology