A condition where people perceive normal levels of sound as extremely loud, and experience fear and discomfort in response, causing them to progressively avoid exposure to most sounds in every-day life. People with hyperacusis may find it difficult to hold a conversation in a normal tone of voice or go to a restaurant because of the noise level. Hyperacusis occurs when the interpretation and processing of the loudness of sound, is abnormal. It may have an anatomical basis, but most often, it has a perceptual or behavioural overlay that can be managed through unique therapy tailored to a patient’s needs. A skilled practitioner who has experience in managing hyperacusis can be positively life-changing.
A condition that causes people to feel intense anger, disgust, irritation, frustration, or fear, when they hear specific sounds. These sounds have become part of a conditioned behavioural response pattern that can be assessed and effectively managed by a skilled practitioner using specific counseling techniques and sound enrichment therapy.
Auditory Processing Disorder
Also known as Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) or, just APD, is where a person has increased difficulty interpreting and understanding sound that is heard at the ear, but not correctly processed by the brain. Some (but not necessarily all) of the following problems may be experienced: significantly (and seemingly unexplainable) difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments; tremendous difficulty following sequential instructions or directions; difficulty differentiating between different sounds, or identifying the type, origin or direction of sound; difficulty developing reading and spelling skills; extreme distractibility or loss of focus for auditory information; and problems understanding intonation patterns that can affect one’s understanding of humour and other emotions. Management for auditory processing disorder begins with a comprehensive assessment of the difficulties, and will usually include therapy to improve listening skills, adaptation of the listening environment, use of additional non-auditory strategies to support communication; and/or use of assistive listening devices.
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