Molly’s Story

“My hyperacusis was caused by a noise incident. A small vial of supercooled gas was brought to room temperature too quickly, and as the gas expanded, the vial exploded. It was maybe a foot from my left ear at the time. I’ve always had occasional tinnitus, but that accident made it worse. This was about 7 years ago.

In the beginning it was really awful, most high-pitched sounds were really painful. Not even that high, either; I had to have female friends talk into my right ear, because the pitch of their voices was painful in my left. I couldn’t listen to music at all except through a single earbud in my right ear.

I did a little Googling, and found a pink noise generator to listen to, which I’d do whenever I was sitting at my computer, for about 6 months after that. I don’t know if it helped, or if the hyperacusis would have gone away on its own. After about 2 years post-accident, I was no longer regularly noticing symptoms. I’m more sensitive to high pitched noises in general than most people, but I can have normal conversations, listen to music normally, etc. My occasional tinnitus seems more frequent now than it did before, but I don’t have any real measurements or documentation to back that up… But the hyperacusis, specifically, is certainly much less than it was right after the accident, if not completely gone. All my impressions are subjective since I haven’t returned to an audiologist since my initial visit after the accident, which determined I had no hearing loss.”

Pain Receptors Likely Identified in Cochlea

Researchers have identified what they suspect to be pain receptors in the cochlea. The purpose of these type II afferent nerves coming from outer hair cells is unknown however recent research from Northwestern University and John Hopkins University suggest that these are likely pain receptors. See Potential Mechanisms: Pain Receptors for more information.

News Release:
http://news.feinberg.northwestern.edu/2015/02/garcia-auditory-pathway/

Paper ($31.50):
http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(15)00011-1?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982215000111%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

New Therapy Targets Auditory Brain

A study led by Craig Markowitz of the University of Minnesota sought to target deep auditory brain structures using synchronized auditory and touch sensory inputs. This Multimodal Synchronization Therapy (they call it mSync) was found to reduce activity in the Inferior Colliculus (IC) and Primary Auditory Cortex (A1). This is utilizing the sensory connections from head and upper body that connect to the auditory system for processing, likely helping to filter sounds from eating and adjust for changes in external ear position. Although this study focuses on processing centers far up the auditory chain, such therapy feasibly could work in the cochlear nucleus as well. Touch sensory signals are sent to the granule cells of the cochlear nucleus, where the suspected cochlear pain receptors are routed.

The paper is free to view,

Investigating a new neuromodulation treatment for brain disorders using synchronized activation of multimodal pathways
Markovitz CD, Smith BT, Gloeckner CD, Lim H
March 2015

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4372796/pdf/srep09462.pdf

New Therapy Targets Auditory Brain

A study led by Craig Markowitz of the University of Minnesota sought to target deep auditory brain structures using synchronized auditory and touch sensory inputs. This Multimodal Synchronization Therapy (they call it mSync) was found to reduce activity in the Inferior Colliculus (IC) and Primary Auditory Cortex (A1). This is utilizing the sensory connections from head and upper body that connect to the auditory system for processing, likely helping to filter sounds from eating and adjust for changes in external ear position. Although this study focuses on processing centers far up the auditory chain, such therapy feasibly could work in the cochlear nucleus as well. Touch sensory signals are sent to the granule cells of the cochlear nucleus, where the suspected cochlear pain receptors are routed.

The paper is free to view,

Investigating a new neuromodulation treatment for brain disorders using synchronized activation of multimodal pathways
Markovitz CD, Smith BT, Gloeckner CD, Lim H
March 2015

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4372796/pdf/srep09462.pdf