Ear Research Foundation Blog

Hyperacusis Research Study

Originally Published at  S W Florida Health and Wellness Magazine

Hyperacusis, or noise intolerance, is a condition in which patients have a reduced tolerance and increased sensitivity to everyday sounds in the normal environment. People who suffer from Hyperacusis describe their lives as living in a world where the volume seems to be turned up too high.

In 2010, Dr. Herbert Silverstein, of the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota, Florida, encountered a patient with hyperacusis after a head injury. He performed a minimally invasive round and oval window reinforcement surgical procedure, which greatly reduced the patient’s sound sensitivity. A few years later, when another patient complained of noise intolerance, Dr. Silverstein tried the same procedure to see if it would help. When it did, he knew this treatment option needed further study to determine the efficacy in a larger population.

Since the fall of 2014, Dr. Silverstein and his team have been conducting a research study for the minimally invasive round and oval window reinforcement surgical treatment of severe Hyperacusis. The preliminary results have been very positive. Dr. Silverstein’s procedure continues to improve during the study. Results have been very good with most patients. Initially, there was a 55% noted improvement; however, today with increased tissue, 85% noted improvement.  People, when treated with this minimally invasive surgery are back to normal activities and they find, with reduced noise trauma, are not as anxious or sensitive to the sounds around them.

“It is very gratifying to help patients with hyperacusis using this procedure, which dampens the sound waves to improve the patient’s tolerance for noise,” Dr. Herbert Silverstein has stated.
Three clinical papers about hyperacusis have now been published in prominent medical journals and Dr. Silverstein has spoken nationally regarding the results.

Herbert Silverstein, MD, FACS
President and Founder of the Silverstein Institute and the Ear Research Foundation has consistently been recognized (since 1979) as one of the “Best Physicians in the USA.” He has been a leader in Otology/Neurotology (the science of the ear and skull base) for more than 40 years, developing surgical and diagnostic procedures, inventing instruments (such as the facial nerve monitor/stimulator), teaching medical students, residents, and fellows, and helping people improve their quality of life. Born in Philadelphia, Dr. Silverstein received his BS degree from Dickinson College (cum laude), and both MS (in physiology) and MD degrees from Temple University Medical School. He completed a residency in otolaryngology at Harvard Mass Eye & Ear infirmary in 1966. Before coming to Sarasota in 1973, he served on the teaching staff of Harvard University Medical School, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, as director of the Walker Biochemistry Research Laboratory, and as associate professor and director of the Otological Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He was elected to Who’ Who in America in 2019.


This Hyperacusis Surgery Has Made My Life
Pleasant Again

Thank you for performing my ear surgery to help my hyperacusis. This operation has made my life pleasant again. I am able to enjoy our Worship music at my church again and am able to be around crowds who are talking loudly without holding my ears and wincing.
All of the noises that used to make me get very agitated: microwave alarm, putting ice cubes in glasses, chimes, bells, kids crying, are very tolerable to me now. Thank you again for performing the operation that has become my solution to my hyperacusis problem.
– Rebecca Liskey

Hyperacusis Patient That is Happy With Her Results

Today is a month since packing from hyperacusis surgery was removed. I’m delighted with the results! Your work is a miracle for me! And, my phonophobia is melting away, too. With deep respect and appreciation – Suzan

Your Hyperacusis Surgery Changed My Life For the Better

The results are amazing/ The surgery was a huge success and I can’t even begin to explain how it’s changed my life for the better!

I might have last a little hearing, or the noises seemed “dumbed down” or “slightly muted” but it’s worth the trade-off Hi pitched sounds, sharp noises, loud places don’t really bother me anymore. After I leave a loud bar or restaurant, my ear feels slightly “numb” or “plugged”, but it is a huge improvement from what I had to deal with before.

I haven’t worn my earplugs since the surgery in laud places and it feels great/ Last night I sat front raw and about 15 feet from a speaker of a quartet playing violins that were plugged in and it was comfortable sitting there and I have very little discomfort today, which would have never been the case before my surgery.

Please tell Dr. Silverstein and his staff literally gave me my social life back and has changed my life in ways I can’t begin to describe!

Tags: Hyperacusis

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