CSD-490: Senior Inquiry, Thesis

Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date



Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Communication Sciences and Disorders | Sense Organs | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

Hyperacusis is the phenomenon of experiencing moderately loud sounds as overly loud and/or intensely annoying. Hyperacusis can also cause fear or pain in response to sound. There is no one known cause of hyperacusis, and because of the variety of ways it presents itself, the approximate prevalence is difficult to determine. Despite the ambiguity of hyperacusis, the audiologist is an important part of diagnosing and educating clients with hyperacusis. During this project we aimed to discover the challenges individuals with hyperacusis face. These include anxiety, depression and avoidance behavior, and sometimes co-occurring tinnitus and hearing loss. Another aim was to evaluate effective counseling techniques for hyperacusis, and furthermore, how effective individuals perceive these techniques to be. We found that meditation and progressive relaxation techniques, and sound therapy are most effective for managing hyperacusis symptoms. Participants reported that the educational counseling materials developed during this project were very useful. Counseling materials were adapted for hyperacusis from the Tinnitus Activities Treatment developed by Richard Tyler and covered the definition and types of hyperacusis, effects of hyperacusis on life, and management strategies. We hope the development of these materials and the results of interviewing individuals with hyperacusis can aid audiologists in educating and counseling clients with hyperacusis symptoms.