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Avoid sound triggers or expose?

Burning question! I have extreme sound sensitivity now which triggers worsening VM symptoms almost instantly (esp low frequencies, ppl talking, even my own voice) - can sound/loud sounds damage my hearing while I’m in this condition and do I need to avoid sounds? It feels so painful and exposure seems to decrease my overall trigger threshold that day and the following day/week.

Please do not worry about ‘damage’. Vertigo is an illusion of movement. Other symptoms such as your extreme sound sensitivity are occurring because of a functional error in your vestibular system. Compare it to your brain and your vestibular system being out of sync. Deep down ‘underneath’ there is nothing wrong. It is just false messages confusing things.

Difficult to advise. It is virtually impossible to avoid sound as it is to avoid light (my own nemesis). Good idea to avoid very loud noise and to appreciate that continually exposing your already hypersensitive system to more and more robust triggers is not a good thing. Things need to calm down.

I see you take Propranolol which tends to take some time to work. The aim of preventatives is to reduce sensitivity to triggers such as noise so it could well be you need longer on the drug or maybe an increased dose to help you with this problem. I would suggest you speak to your doctor or better still a neurologist or neurotologist for further assistance.

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Thank you! Trying to balance using ear plugs (for those times when I’m in bad shape or avoiding loud sounds is impossible) with not using them so I don’t develop a “real” hyperacusis - not sure how quickly that can happen. I’ve been dealing with the super sonic hearing thing for a few months now.

Yeah, it’s a balance (ahem). Expose yourself, imho, if you can, to give the brain something to get feedback on and adjust things. I had hyperacusis badly for a loooong time (the door closing alarm of the local light railway used to kill me!), but it has calmed significantly (that ear is still not great though!). I did not protect myself that much (except if going to really loud places). If it’s causing you neurological symptoms though, you might need to protect yourself a bit.

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When I had my first appt with the Neurotologist who finally diagnosed VM, I asked him if I should upgrade my earplugs to the expensive musician earplugs and he told me that earplugs are fine to wear in “naturally loud” environments like concerts or around heavy machinery. They should not be used daily like I had been since the eardrums being a muscle, get “lazy” and they will only make my ears more sensitive over time. So, as hard as it was… I had to wean myself off the earplugs. I still pop them in when the organist at church decides a few extra decibels is necessary or fireworks displays etc.So, at this point in my recovery I only wear them a few times a year but have them in my handbag at all times just in case.


Thank you! I will definitely start weaning myself off the earplugs.

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Same applies to the use of sunglasses. The more one dampens down the light the more light sensitive the eyes can become.