Hyperacusis in children: The Edinburgh experience

Ida Amir, Dawn Lamerton, Mary Louise Montague

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: This study aimed to determine the factors associated with hyperacusis in children referred to an audiology-led paediatric hyperacusis clinic in a Paediatric tertiary centre. It also aimed to identify current management strategies in paediatric hyperacusis and their outcomes. Methods: Retrospective cohort study conducted by case note and AuditBase® review over a 5-year period (March 2010 to March 2015) in a tertiary Paediatric ENT and Audiology service. Results: 412 children were referred with hyperacusis during the 5-year period. All children were assessed and managed within a dedicated Paediatric hyperacusis clinic. Median age at referral was 7 years. 76% were boys (n = 313). On average, children were sensitive to 6 identifiable sound stimuli at presentation (range 1–20). 82% complained of sensitivity to noise from household appliances and hand dryers. 60% had a background history of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), followed by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other neurodevelopmental problems. In 91% management comprised behavioural therapy and provision of a 'sound-ball’ (Wellcare® Naturcare Relaxation Therapy Ball) to take home. Of these, 25% did not attend their first review appointment. A further 25% were considered to have sufficient symptom improvement to permit discharge after a single clinic review. Only 2% of children required more than 3 review sessions before achieving resolution of symptoms. Conclusions: In our paediatric cohort, hyperacusis is more common in boys and in those children with ASD. A combined treatment approach with behavioural therapy and the provision of a sound-ball has a very high success rate in our experience.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-44
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


    • Hyperacusis
    • Paediatric
    • Tinnitus
    • Follow-Up Studies
    • Humans
    • Risk Factors
    • Child, Preschool
    • Male
    • Treatment Outcome
    • Scotland/epidemiology
    • Adolescent
    • Female
    • Referral and Consultation
    • Retrospective Studies
    • Child
    • Hyperacusis/diagnosis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Otorhinolaryngology


    Dive into the research topics of 'Hyperacusis in children: The Edinburgh experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this