News Support for sound sensitivity and tinnitus Support for sound sensitivity and tinnitus The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Support Group is changing its name to the Tinnitus and Sound Sensitivity Support Group. Why? Hyperacusis is only one form of sound sensitivity, and the group wanted to include and help more people. Bev Herne, who runs the group, said: “A lot of our members had never heard of hyperacusis and the definition didn't fit their lived experience of sound tolerance problems. By changing the group name, we hope that more people will find us, feel our space is for them and access the support we offer.” What is sound sensitivity? Sound sensitivity is when you have a reduced tolerance to noises that would typically be comfortable to listen to. Sound sensitivity causes the auditory system to make these noises appear much louder than they actually are. About 10% of people are estimated to have some type of sound sensitivity. Types of sound intolerance There is still a lot of debate about the definitions of the various types of sound sensitivity, but broadly they can be described as: Hyperacusis – when everyday sounds seem much louder than they should. This doesn’t have to be all sounds, sometimes it is only certain sounds that seem too loud. Misophonia – this is when human sounds, such as chewing and breathing, cause people to have a strong emotional or physical response. These feelings can include anger, anxiety or disgust. Phonophobia – this is defined as a persistent and unfounded fear of sound. Often, these are environmental sounds such as traffic, doors closing or kitchen sounds. Recruitment – is when sounds are perceived as getting too loud too fast. It is always associated with hearing loss. Who is the meeting for? The Tinnitus and Sound Sensitivity Support Group is for people with tinnitus and some form of sensitivity to sound. Friends and family members are also encouraged to join. It is a peer support group, and not a substitute for medical advice. When are the meetings? The meetings are held via Zoom on the third Wednesday of each month, starting at 19.00 BST. The next meeting is on Wednesday 20 July. Who runs the meetings? The meeting is facilitated by volunteer Bev Herne, who is an audiologist specialising in tinnitus and sound sensitivity. How do I sign up? sign up Meetings are free to attend. You will need a computer, tablet or smart phone with the Zoom app installed.