Hyperacusis is a real condition in which the person cannot stand loud sounds that for most people are considered normal or tolerable. All people are bothered with super loud sounds and can be startled by sounds that cause irritation. I personally don’t get into Country Music. Doesn’t mean that I have Hyperacusis but it means that my preferences are affected by my past and experiences.
Those with this condition do not necessarily have a psychological disorder but can have one as well. All are equipped with the ability to hear the difference between one pitch and another as well as one loudness to another. This is called one’s Difference Limen. The Difference Limen is a psychacoustical ability to perceive the volume difference between two sounds. Now a musician can have a much higher ability normally to hear one pitch and another than the normal hearing person. But two people with normal hearing can have radically different abilities to perceive pitch differences. One person could feel that the guitar on stage sounds fine with normal hearing whereas a musician like myself, even with my hearing loss, will feel the need to rip that guitar out of the musician’s hands to tune the instrument noticing that two strings might be out of tune.
Those with Hyperacusis also have this issue with loudness abilities that drive them for cover at mildly loud sounds. This reporter was classically bad at identifying that the problem noted by one of the individuals who cannot wear headphones because they hurt his ears could EASILY be fitted with custom earmolds that would be comfortable and are better sound reduction than any headphone on the market. People with Hyperacusis can walk down the street with custom ear protection that is NOT noticeable and would protect them more than anything available. Hearing Solution Centers routinely makes this type of protection for their patients. We also see more patients for In Ear Monitors, Hunting/Shooting Protection and Custom Earmolds than anyone in the city of Tulsa or Oklahoma.