Increased noise sensitivity refers to the abnormal subjective response to external sounds, with a prevalence of between 8% and 15.2% in the adult population as suggested by epidemiological studies. The basic neural mechanism of hyperacusis still remains obscure, so therapies for this often-devastating symptom remain elusive. The aim of this study was to assess psychological profiles in patients with presbycusis without tinnitus in a perspective case-control design. All subjects were initially submitted to audiological evaluation (tympanometry, recordings of the acoustic reflex thresholds, pure tone audiometry) and subsequently were administered the following questionnaires: the hyperacusis questionnaire (HQ), the brief symptom inventory (BSI), and the modified somatic perception questionnaire (MSPQ). Patients with hyperacusis reported a total score and subscales (attentional, social, and emotional) of the HQ significantly higher than controls. They also reported higher scores of the MSPQ and significantly higher mean values with concern to the somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, and anxiety subscales of the BSI. These results show that psychological distress, as expressed by higher level of somatic attention, somatization, anxiety, and depression, is a significant factor to consider for a complete diagnosis and effective treatment of hyperacusis. For a correct diagnosis of patients seeking help for hyperacusis, their psychological distress should also be assessed, regardless of their hearing abilities. Further studies are required to investigate the pathological mechanisms that are involved in the onset of hyperacusis in patients with normal hearing and those with sensorineural hearing loss.

Psychological Profile and Social Behaviors of Patients with Hyperacusis

Sacchetto, Luca;Monzani, Daniele;Nocini, Riccardo
2022-01-01

Abstract

Increased noise sensitivity refers to the abnormal subjective response to external sounds, with a prevalence of between 8% and 15.2% in the adult population as suggested by epidemiological studies. The basic neural mechanism of hyperacusis still remains obscure, so therapies for this often-devastating symptom remain elusive. The aim of this study was to assess psychological profiles in patients with presbycusis without tinnitus in a perspective case-control design. All subjects were initially submitted to audiological evaluation (tympanometry, recordings of the acoustic reflex thresholds, pure tone audiometry) and subsequently were administered the following questionnaires: the hyperacusis questionnaire (HQ), the brief symptom inventory (BSI), and the modified somatic perception questionnaire (MSPQ). Patients with hyperacusis reported a total score and subscales (attentional, social, and emotional) of the HQ significantly higher than controls. They also reported higher scores of the MSPQ and significantly higher mean values with concern to the somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, and anxiety subscales of the BSI. These results show that psychological distress, as expressed by higher level of somatic attention, somatization, anxiety, and depression, is a significant factor to consider for a complete diagnosis and effective treatment of hyperacusis. For a correct diagnosis of patients seeking help for hyperacusis, their psychological distress should also be assessed, regardless of their hearing abilities. Further studies are required to investigate the pathological mechanisms that are involved in the onset of hyperacusis in patients with normal hearing and those with sensorineural hearing loss.
somatization
anxiety
hearing loss
hyperacusis
social phobia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1082074
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