The Relationship between Stress and Hyperacusis: Case-Control Study

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Associate Professor, Hearing Disorder Research Center AND Department of Audiology, School of Rehabilitation, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

2 - Professor, Hearing Disorder Research Center AND Department of ENT, School of Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran



Introduction: Sound intolerance or hyperacusis refers to a condition in which a person has an abnormal sensitivity to loudness. Some people feel it as a mild pain, while for others, it is difficult to live with. In some cases, it is a result of exposure to painful events, and sometimes the aetiology is not clear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the relationship between stress and hyperacusis.
Materials and Methods: This was a case-control cross-sectional study. The study population consisted of 207 students of Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran. The data were collected by filling the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and using tympanometry tests, pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, and determining uncomfortable level (UCL) of the sound. Based on the independent t-test, the relationship between quantitative variables was investigated.
Results: The control group included 166 (80.19%) participants with normal stress score (GHQ > 23) and normal results in UCL test. The case group consisted of 41 people (19.81%) whose stress score and UCL test score were abnormal. Based on the independent t-test, the relationship between stress and hyperacusis was significant (P ≤ 0.001). However, despite the fact that the frequency of people suffering from stress and hyperacusis was higher in women (60.71%) than men (39.29%), its relationship with gender was not confirmed (P = 0.070).
Conclusion: It seems that stress is one of the causes of hyperacusis, and hyperacusis is observed more in women.


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  • Receive Date: 27 November 2021
  • Accept Date: 18 March 2023
  • First Publish Date: 18 March 2023