Sound Sensitivity Can Be Debilitating After Concussion

Sounds That Don’t' Bother Most People Can Be Debilitating Post-Concussion

Sound sensitivity starting at dB levels that most people find barely loud can represent an important disabling symptom in concussed athletes, especially when some depressive symptoms are present. Because symptoms and loss of activity are reported as the worst part of concussion by athletes48, it is important to realize that further social isolation and sensory deprivation can lead to increased symptoms49. Although there is no universally accepted treatment for hyperacusis, one therapy that has received some empirical support is cognitive behavioral therapy7, which is also successful for treating patients with subclinical depressive symptoms such as athletes in the present study50. Given the new etiology of hyperacusis presented here and the fact that it is associated with pervasive abnormal and/or prolonged recovery, and given the relative ease of administering and availability of sensory sensitivity questionnaires, clinicians and health professionals should be encouraged to identify and assess this prevalent symptom in the audiology clinic and guide athletes to appropriate follow-up care.

Posted on BrainLine July 2, 2018.