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Colorado Springs

Audiology, Inc.

 

Phone  719.520.1155

LOCATION  & DIRECTIONS

Dr. Gene McHugh

Licensed Audiologist

In Colorado

 

 

OFFICE HOURS

Mountain Time USA

Mon-Thurs

9:00AM-5:00PM

Closed Fridays

 

 © Copyright 2017 

 

 

   EAR PLUGS FOR PATIENTS WITH
HYPER-SENSITIVITY TO LOUD SOUNDS

 

     Musician's earplugs have been very helpful for some of our patients suffering from hyper-acusis (i.e., over-sensitivity to loud sounds) secondary to concussive injury.  Patients report improvement in cognitive skills, especially in noise, take the edge off of very loud environments and reducing stress levels commonly occurring in cases with closed head injuries.

 

 
 

    

  In our clinic, we use specially designed custom earplugs from Westone Labs, known as Musician's Earplugs (Style #49 with ER-9, ER-15 and/or ER-25 acoustic filters).  Most patients prefer the ER-25.  The earplugs take the "edge" off of loud sounds without significantly reducing sound reception.   Cost is $225.00 per set.   

 

On left, shape of custom musician's plug along with specially designed acoustic filters from Etymotic Research.

 

On right, attenuation effect using various filters.  Musicians tend to prefer the ER-9 and ER-15.  Patients with acoustic hypersensitivity prefer the ER-25.

     Persons with closed head injuries often complain of hyper-sensitivity to loud noises for years following head trauma.  The problem can be so severe these patients will refrain from going to regular restaurants, movies or even the library in order to escape the noise.  This is called "phonophobia."  

     The issue of treating patients that are hyper-sensitive to loud noise in this manner is controversial.  Many in the field of audiology and otolaryngology believe patients must learn to tolerate our normally loud world.  Also, other therapies exist to help people become accustomed  to loud sounds.  However, when people cannot or will not participate in activities in even slightly loud environments due to hyper-acusis, this is a handicapping situation and where we have found the musician's plugs most helpful.