Double hearing, or diplacusis, is a disorienting and frustrating condition where a person perceives the same sound in different ways between the two ears. Let’s take a closer look at what double hearing is, why it happens, and what the treatment options are.
What Happens When You Have Diplacusis?
Normally, ears work in tandem to deliver the same sound in each ear, even if they perceive slightly different pitches. In those with diplacusis, your ears perceive the same sound very differently. Depending on the type you have, you may experience the same sound in different pitches or at different times, which makes it seem as though there’s an echo.
Causes and Risk Factors of Double Hearing
Anyone can experience double hearing. However, having hearing loss puts you at a higher risk. Research tells us that “binaural diplacusis is more prevalent, and more pronounced, in hearing-impaired individuals.” Additionally, it’s more likely to occur in people who have unilateral hearing loss, which is hearing loss in only one ear.
Diplacusis is related to damage in the ear, whether to the hair cells in the inner ear or due to some obstruction. Possible causes include:
- 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
Can Diplacusis Be Treated?
Treatment options for diplacusis will depend on what is causing the condition. For example, if it’s due to an obstruction or infection in the ear, options like surgical removal or antibiotics can cure the underlying cause and hopefully return hearing to normal.
In other circumstances, the cause of diplacusis cannot be reversed. However, treatment options like hearing aids, cochlear implants and auditory rehabilitation can all be helpful in managing your condition and making it easier to move throughout the world, whether at work, home or out enjoying time with friends at E.C. Hafer Park.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist, contact Hearing Care by Hough today.