The term hyperacusis is generally applied to people who experience the sounds of everyday life as intrusively loud, uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. Some people notice an increase in sensitivity after they have had a difficult life event, for example, bereavement.

Why are some sounds Very Loud? 

Too Loud!! Hyperacusis.ent

Too Loud!! Hyperacusis

Hyperacusis affects people in different ways. For some people, it is a minor annoyance but other people find it really difficult to live with. Some people with hyperacusis withdraw from social and professional activities and become isolated; this can make the problem worse as they become fearful and anxious.
Exposure to sudden loud noise can sometimes trigger hyperacusis. For some, a negative life event appears to be associated with the onset, but for many people no clear reason can be identified.

There are several theories about the mechanisms that underlie hyperacusis.

What they share in common is that hyperacusis is usually associated with increased sensitivity (or auditory gain) in the central auditory system (the hearing pathways in the brain). This sensitivity can be influenced by mood.


  • Fackrell K, Stratmann L, Kennedy V, et al. Identifying and prioritising unanswered research questions for people with hyperacusis: James Lind Alliance Hyperacusis Priority Setting Partnership. BMJ Open. 2019;9(11):e032178. 
  • Aazh H, Knipper M, Danesh AA, et al. Insights from the third international conference on hyperacusis: causes, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. Noise Health. 2018;20(95):162-170.
  • Williams ZJ, Suzman E, Woynaroski TG. A Phenotypic Comparison of Loudness and Pain Hyperacusis: Symptoms, Comorbidity, and Associated Features in a Multinational Patient Registry. Am J Audiol. 2021 Jun 14;30(2):341-358.