Previous studies have demonstrated that hyperacusis occurs in 18% of people with ASD.
Dr. Tyler says: “If you experience loudness hyperacusis, emotional consequences may follow, leading to stress and annoyance, which eventually lead to fear of going to events and socializing. Pain is a little more complicated because it consists of both a fundamental attribute and an emotional consequence.”
Hyperacusis is rare, only affecting 1 in 50,000 individuals, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
Counseling and sound therapy are two main approaches to treat hyperacusis. They may help in retraining the brain and decreasing the physiological activity which leads to the condition.
Dr. Tyler says: “Hyperacusis activities treatment includes components of cognitive behavior therapy, helping patients adjust their perceptions and providing techniques to improve concentration.”
He adds: “Sound therapy can be very effective for hyperacusis. Data indicate that exposure to continuous low level broadband noise can improve objective measures of loudness hyperacusis.”
Although continuous broadband noise has been used to treat tinnitus, and is currently recommended for hyperacusis therapy, white noise is not too effective in comparison with modulated dynamic sounds.
Dr. Tyler says: “Another approach, successive approximation using high-level broadband noise, may be effective.” He adds that the therapy was recommended by Jack A. Vernon, PhD.