University of Iowa Tinnitus & Hyperacusis Conference July 16-17, 2016

The University of Iowa will be having their 24th annual conference on tinnitus and hyperacusis July 16-17, 2016. Both health care professionals and patients are welcome. The first author of the hyperacusis literature review, Dr. Richard Tyler, will be presenting on treatments for loudness and annoyance hyperacusis. Details about the conference and registration can be found here.

Hyperacusis Research Supports Two Research Grants


“Hyperacusis Research is excited to fund two Emerging Research Grants for the Hearing Health Foundation’s 2015 grant cycle. The first grant covers the important topic of pain mechanisms associated with hyperacusis while the second grant investigates mechanisms associated with moderate noise-induced damage and its effects on the auditory system. We are extremely grateful for our donor support which made possible the support of a second grant in 2015 as we had initially only planned on supporting one Emerging Research Grant for this cycle…”

More detail:

$52 Million Invested in Hearing Disorder Research and Drug Development Startup

A startup called Decibel Therapeutics has been formed to focus on discovering and developing new medicines to protect, repair and restore hearing. Their first program will involve an antibody to help grow neurites (a portion of the nerve that extends to other nerves). Charles Liberman, a renowned Harvard researcher who has directly and indirectly contributed to Hyperacusis research, is a founding member. Related research of his on hidden hearing loss found neurotrophins can help restore damage of the auditory nerve.

News Article
Company Press Release

From facebook page

Hyperacusis Research Fundraiser and the Maholchic family are holding a fundraiser to raise money for research into sound-induced pain. Donations will be matched by an anonymous donor up to a total of $10,000.


Hyperacusis Research funded the grant that led to the first complete hyperacusis literature review. They have recently funded two additional grants. One to investigate the neural mechanisms of hyperacusis with noise-induced auditory neurodegeneration and the other grant is to research the relationship between pain-associated proteins in the auditory pathway and hyperacusis. Hyperacusis research also engages with researchers who work to obtain funding from other sources, allowing for a wider net for hyperacusis research. There is much more to study and grass roots donations are critical to driving future research. More information can be found below:

Hyperacusis Literature Review funded by
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Hidden Hearing Loss and Neurotrophins: A potential hyperacusis treatment

Charles Liberman, an established researcher from Harvard Medical School, has written a layman friendly summary of hidden hearing loss in the August edition of Scientific American:

Regarding hidden hearing loss as a potential mechanism of hyperacusis:

“In the past, scientists and clinicians have pointed to the normal audiogram of a tinnitus or hyperacusis sufferer and concluded, again, that the problem must arise in the brain. We suggest instead that the damage may have taken place in the auditory nerve.”

Liberman then goes on to discuss recent research that shows neurotrophins may be a treatment option for hidden hearing loss:

“Hidden hearing loss may soon be treatable by injection through the eardrum of gels that slowly release neurotrophins to restore synapses months or years after a noise insult.”

I encourage reading the full article ($5.99) on the Scientific American website to gain a deeper understanding of hidden hearing loss.

University of Pittsburgh Identifies the Molecular Mechanisms Behind Resilience to Noise-induced Tinnitus.

The University of Pittsburg has been behind some significant breakthroughs in tinnitus drug research. Their earlier work resulted in the development of KCNQ2/3 specific activators that can prevent the development of tinnitus in mice after noise exposure. Their latest paper shows that HCN channels also contribute and they are now looking to target those in combination with KCNQ2/3 channels to more effectively address vulnerability and resilience to tinnitus. Some suspect that tinnitus and hyperacusis are related, leading to curiosity that a successful tinnitus medication may improve hyperacusis symptoms.

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From facebook page

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.”