Hyperacusis and Decreased Sound Tolerance Prevalence Statistics

These evidence-based hyperacusis statistics also include other decreased sound tolerance (DST). DST is when people have a negative reaction to sound. The 2 types of decreased sound tolerance include hyperacusis and misophonia (including phonophia). Hyperacusis is when certain sounds are painful. Misophonia is when certain sounds are hated. Phonophobia is when certain sounds are feared; it’s sometimes called noise phobia.

About 86% of people with hyperacusis as a main concern also have upsetting tinnitus.

Science still doesn’t know exactly how many people have hyperacusis because there is no single definition of hyperacusis or method of measuring hyperacusis severity for adults or children. Different age ranges are used in studies available. This makes it very difficult to pool data or compare findings.

Based on Fackrell et al. (2015) and Rosing et al. (2016):

Estimated Hyperacusis by Gender
Males     = 12.5%: more common in boys than girls.
Females = 17.6%: more common in men than women.

Estimated Hyperacusis by Age (in years)
<5        = ?
5-19     = 3.2 – 17.1%
18-79   = 8.6%

Rosing et al. (2016) state, “The lack of consistency among studies indicates the necessity of examining the epidemiology of tinnitus and hyperacusis in children and adolescents with a set of standardised criteria.”

Estimated Misophonia
adults = ?
children = ?

Estimated Phonophobia
adults = ?
children = ?

Fackrell, K., Fearnley, C., Hoare, D.J., & Seredal, M. (2015). Hyperacusis Questionnaire as a Tool for Measuring Hypersensitivity to Sound in a Tinnitus Research Population. BioMed Research International. Volume 2015, Article ID 290425, 12 pages. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/290425

Rosing, S. N., Schmidt, J. H., Wedderkopp, N., & Baguley, D. M. (2016, June 3), Prevalence of tinnitus and hyperacusis in children and adolescents: a systematic review. British Medical Journal Open. 6(6). Retrieved from http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/6/e010596

Photo Credit Pixabay.com at Unsplash

Jan L. Mayes MSc Aud(C) RAud is an international Eric Hoffer Award winning author, audiologist, and hearing healthcare educator. She specializes in tinnitus, hyperacusis, noise-induced hearing system damage, and darkly disturbing, macabre horror fiction.

8 thoughts on “Hyperacusis and Decreased Sound Tolerance Prevalence Statistics”

    1. Thanks! Not famous yet – nice of you to think I might be someday. Cheers, Jan

    1. tinnitus toolbox

      I knew I wasn’t the only one having these types of difficulties and working to overcome them. Glad it’s helpful for you and your cousins. Thanks, Jan

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