Hyperacusis group educational sessions (Perreau et al., 2019)

Purpose: Audiologists should be treating hyperacusis patients. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin because treatment protocols and evidence-based treatment studies are lacking. A good place to start in any tinnitus and hyperacusis clinic is to incorporate a group educational session.
Method: Here, we outline our approach to establishing a hyperacusis group educational session that includes specific aspects of getting to know each patient to best meet their needs, understanding the problems associated with hyperacusis, explaining the auditory system and the relationship of hyperacusis to hearing loss and tinnitus, describing the influence of hyperacusis on daily life, and introducing treatment options. Subjective responses from 11 adults with hyperacusis, who participated in a recent clinical group education session, were discussed to illustrate examples from actual patients.
Conclusions: Due to the devastating nature of hyperacusis, patients need to be reassured that they are not alone and that they can rely on audiologists to provide support and guidance. A group approach can facilitate the therapeutic process by connecting patients with others who are also affected by hyperacusis, and by educating patients and significant others on hyperacusis and its treatment options.

Supplemental Material S1. Hyperacusis nerve activity.

Supplemental Material S2. Gradual desensitization of the auditory system after a gradual increase of sound over several weeks.

Perreau, A. E., Tyler, R. S., Mancini, P. C., Witt, S., & Elgandy, M. S. (2019). Establishing a group educational session for hyperacusis patients. American Journal of Audiology, 28, 245–250. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJA-18-0148