Sensitive to Sound
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Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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Content updated on Apr 4, 2024

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  • Even small sounds can be heard in my ear

  • Hypersensitive hearing

  • Sensitive to sounds

  • Sensitive to sound

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About the Symptom

A condition where someone is very sensitive to sounds or noises. The sounds may seem very loud even though others are not bothered by them. There are many causes of hearing hypersensitivity, including ear or head injuries.

Possible Causes

Generally, Sensitive to sound can be related to:

  • Ear Infection

    Infection of the middle ear (area just behind the eardrum) by bacteria or viruses. Contributing factors include nasal obstruction by adenoids and allergic rhinitis. The symptoms can include ear pain or fullness, fevers, and muffled hearing. This is more common in children but can also present in adults. In severe cases, the eardrum may rupture leading to drainage coming out the ear canal.

Related serious diseases

Sometimes, Sensitive to sound may be related to these serious diseases:

  • Bell's Palsy

    Characterized by sudden weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles, Bell's palsy is usually temporary and occurs on one side of the face. The exact cause is unknown but is believed to be due to swelling and inflammation of the nerve controlling the facial muscles or viral infection. Anyone can be affected by this condition, but pregnant women, those with lung infections, and those with a family history of the condition are at higher risk.

Doctor's Diagnostic Questions

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom:

  • Do normal environmental sounds seem unusually loud to you?

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Reviewed By:

Bret Mobley, MD, MS

Bret Mobley, MD, MS (Neuropathology)

Dr. Mobley graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School, completing a masters degree in neuroscience between his second and third years of medical school. He trained as a resident in pathology at Stanford University Hospital before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee in 2010. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018 and to Neuropathology Division Director in 2020.

Shohei Harase, MD

Shohei Harase, MD (Neurology)

Dr. Harase spent his junior and senior high school years in Finland and the U.S. After graduating from the University of Washington (Bachelor of Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology), he worked for Apple Japan Inc. before entering the University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, where he received the Best Resident Award in 2016 and 2017. In 2021, he joined the Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, specializing in hyperacute stroke.

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