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Hyperacusis and strange feeling in ear

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about 10 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare hearing condition called hyperacusis. Hyperacusis itself isn't the problem right now, the problem is it's byproduct - ever since I got diagnosed with hyperacusis, I have a strange feeling in and around my ears. It feels like it's an ear infection (which radiates to cheeks), but ENT specialists don't detect anything.

To explain the feeling/sensations:
- My ears don't really hurt, it's more of a slightly uncomfortable swelling around my face, which radiates around the ears, to eyes, down to cheeks.
- I had this since hyperacusis started, 10 years ago, but lately it's gotten worse.
- My hearing also got worse over the years.
- ENT specialists never detected anything (with regards to this swelling; hyperacusis and hear loss were diagnosted/detected several times).

Something is surely wrong and it must be treated (especially since it's slowly getting worse). Although it's only slightly uncomfortable, it's uncomfortable enough so that I wear caps and hats all the time (to trick my nerves, so this uncomfortable feeling gets masked by the small pressure of the caps/hats).

Any opinions?

Also: I'm thinking about doing MRI. It doesn't really cost much where I'm located now (in the middle of Europe). Should I do it? What type of MRI? Face? Head? Contrast dye, no contrast dye?


Category: ENT Specialist

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Category: ENT Specialist
Dr. Sunil Jalan is online now

Expert:  Dr. Sunil Jalan replied 4 Days.


Thank you for your consult at DoctorSpring.com. I can understand your problem, and will try to help you in best possible manner.

You are suffering from right sided hearing loss (nerve deafness) associated with tinnitus (abnormal sounds which are not present in environment) or hyperacusis( loud sound). In your case hyperacusis and hearing loss most likely due to nerve deafness only.

This a not a serious condition but it is difficult to treat as no definitive treatment is available. Still you need to repeat you hearing test( audiogram) every year. So you will know progress of hearing loss.

Few medicine suppose to give benefit are Ginkgo biloba 40 mg once daily and amitryptline 25mg once in night. I would recommend you discuss them with your treating physicians.

Still you need to repeat you hearing test( audiogram) every year. So you will know progress of hearing loss.

You can do MRI Brain with contrast(gadolinium), as with this we will able to get all information about you nerve of hearing as well as other nerves and brain.

Summary :

• To start Ginkgo biloba 40 mg once daily for 3 months in consult with your phsycian
• Tab. amitryptline 25mg once in night for one month in consult with your phsycian
• To repeat hearing test
• To do MRI Brain with contrast(gadolinium)

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask if you have any further queries.

Thank you.
Dr. Sunil Jalan

Patient replied :


thanks for answer.

However, I was not really asking about hyperacusis and/or hearing loss. I know that it's untreatable.

I'm concerned about that feel of swelling (or maybe swelling is a wrong word; it feels dry, numb and rigid) around my face, which radiates around the ears, to eyes, down to cheeks.

The soft tissue around my ears, down to cheeks definitely feels abnormal. The soft tissue shouldn't feel dry, numb and rigid.

I only mentioned hyperacusis because this "swelling" sensations started when I first got diagnosed with hyperacusis. But now the swelling (not hyperacusis) is starting to get worse.

Shouldn't I be getting MRI for soft tissue on my face?

Damien Zagozen

Expert:  Dr. Sunil Jalan replied 3 Days.


I think you are feeling numbness around ear and face. This need to be examined by a local ENT doctor to give expert opinion.

Still for evaluation, you need MRI Brain with contrast only, because the nerves for this area come from brain only.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you have any further queries.

Dr. Sunil Jalan
Category: ENT Specialist
DAA (Diploma in asthma and allergy) : Christian Medical College, Vellore, 2012
D.N.B (ENT), 2011
Residency - M.S. (Master post graduate degree in otorhinolaryngology),  Christian Medical College, Vellore, 2009
D.L.O. (Diploma in otorhinolaryngology) - Christian Medical College, Vellore, 2007
Medical School - M.B.B.S, S.P. Medical college, Bikaner, 2004
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