Though pretty much everyone has heard of double vision, far fewer have probably heard the term double hearing. Let’s take a closer look at just exactly what double hearing is, as well as how to treat it.
Double Hearing Basics
Typically, ears work in tandem to deliver the same sound in each ear, even if they perceive slightly different pitches. In double hearing, also referred to as diplacusis, your ears perceive the same sound very differently. This can be a disorienting and troubling sensation for anyone who experiences it.
While it’s a condition that can happen to anyone, some individuals are at a higher risk of diplacusis than others. Medical literature tells us that “binaural diplacusis is more prevalent, and more pronounced, in hearing-impaired individuals.” It is especially more likely to occur in people who have asymmetric hearing loss or hearing loss in only one ear.
Additionally, there are two subtypes of diplacusis. Diplacusis dysharmonica causes you to hear the same sound in different pitches. While diplacusis echoicacauses you to perceive sounds at different speeds, which can make it seem like noises are echoing.
What Causes Diplacusis?
While all the reasons why some experience diplacusis are still unknown, it occurs when there is either damage to the ear or an obstruction in the ear. This can happen from:
- Age-related hearing loss
- Untreated ear infection
- Trauma to the head
- Exposure to loud noise
- Ototoxic (damaging to the ears) medication
- Autoimmune disorders
- Clogged ears
- Earwax buildup
- Acoustic neuroma
Seek Treatment for Double Hearing
It can be quite upsetting to experience diplacusis when you’re out running errands in Evansville or trying to enjoy lunch with friends at Rosie’s Diner. Treatment options are available and will vary depending on the cause of your double hearing.
For instance, if it’s caused by an obstruction or infection, removing or fixing it should cause your hearing to return to normal. However, if it is caused by sensorineural hearing loss, it’s permanent but can be managed with devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants. You may also find auditory rehabilitation effective in helping your brain adapt to this new way of hearing.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Hearing Healthcare Center today.