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Acoustic Reflexes in Individuals Having Hyperacusis of the Auditory Origin

Abstract

Functional role of the acoustic reflex in preventing over stimulation of the inner auditory system by decreasing sound intensity along with the previous reports of acoustic reflex abnormalities in individuals having hyperacusis point towards the involvement of acoustic reflex deficit in the origin of hyperacusis especially when any medical condition leading to hyperacusis is not associated. However this issue remains contradictory owing to limited comprehensive investigation. This study was undertaken to ascertain the relationship between hyperacusis and the acoustic reflex. Threshold, amplitude and latency of the acoustic reflex were measured in two different groups of individuals having hyperacusis; Group 1: 14 individuals having hyperacusis with hearing loss (HwHL) and Group 2: 17 individuals having hyperacusis without hearing loss (HwoHL). Control group (Group 3) consisted of 15 normal hearing individuals who never experienced hyperacusis. Result showed a significant group effect on all the measured characteristics of the acoustic reflex. ARTs were found to be significantly higher in HwHL and HwoHL when compared to NHwoH. ARTs were statistically similar for HwoHL and NHwoH. HwoHL’s ARAs and ARLs were significantly smaller and prolonged, respectively, when compared to HwHL and NHwoH. HwHL and NHwoH had statistically similar ARAs and ARLs. This study confirms acoustic reflex abnormalities in some individuals having hyperacusis with or without hearing loss. It further highlight the importance of involving acoustic reflex testing in the assessment of hyperacusis especially when hyperacusis is not associated with hearing loss or any other medical condition that may lead to hyperacusis.

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Availability of Data and Material

The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

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Correspondence to Udit Saxena.

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Saxena, U., Singh, B.P., Kumar, S.B.R. et al. Acoustic Reflexes in Individuals Having Hyperacusis of the Auditory Origin. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 72, 497–502 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12070-020-02002-9

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Keywords

  • Hyperacusis
  • Acoustic reflexes
  • Threshold
  • Latency
  • Amplitude