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Bryan Pollard, President of Hyperacusis Research gets answers at ARO conference

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Association for Research in Otolaryngology
37th Annual MidWinter Meeting
February 22-26 2014
Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel
San Diego, CA

Bryan Pollard, President of Hyperacusis Research, attended two days of the 2014 ARO Mid-Winter Research Conference.You can also check out the full 600 page abstract summary book at: http://www.aro.org/documents/ARO2014_AbstractBook.pdf

Here is a copy of our transcripts with Bryan.

To Wendy Spickerman, Hyperacusis Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/hyperacusis-in-binghamton/wendy-spickerman

Bryan Pollard
President
Hyperacusis Research
www.hyperacusisresearch.org

Feb 26, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Wendy,

Thanks for your support! I put in some answers below which I will be posting later to Facebook. It was not easy just to get short answers to questions and I was not able to ask all questions at ARO but I attempted to give the best answers I know from both ARO and other published research. See below for answers.

Questions and Answers Transcript: Feb. 26, 2014

Wendy: I would be very interested in knowing if there is anyone looking into a device that could measure how loud each hyperacusis sufferer is actually hearing everyday sounds.

Bryan Pollard: I spoke to Wei Sun from UaB about the basis of loudness encoding (how the brain perceives loudness) which is not fully understood so I am sure such a device could not be made at this time.

Wendy: While the use of sound meters may help sufferers document specific sounds which cause discomfort, pain and other symptoms such as nausea, pressure build up in the ear even hearing loss and vomiting. This does not however, tell us how loud each suffer is experiencing it.

I would very much be interested in a response for my next hyperacusis article for examiner.com

Wendy: My next question would be. Does one feel hyperacusis should be listed as a disability, a disease or a reaction?

Bryan Pollard: Wei Sun felt the correct label is a "disorder" which is generally the medical term given to a collection of symptoms that relate to an abnormality of function.

Wendy: If listed as a disability how will this help hyperacusis sufferers keep their jobs or get better accommodations for such a condition. In addition, how would one define it as a disability? Does this effect OSHA Guidelines?

Bryan Pollard: To get hyperacusis listed specifically as a disability is not just a medical issue but also governmental. I previously investigated the legal definition of disability and it appeared hyperacusis could fit it now. However, there may not be precedent set yet for hyperacusis specifically. I have pursued this with the VA for veterans who can currently get 40% disability for Tinnitus but not easily get any disability for hyperacusis. It is a challenging effort. "This is another reason we support the development of a more objective diagnostic test because some do not consider the current testing methodology sufficient for disability claims."

Bryan Pollard: From Liberman's work, “OSHA's guidelines may not even be sufficient for normal people, as we now know auditory damage can happen within their guidelines.”

Wendy: If listed, as a disease with no cure at this point, is there any defined moment it would be considered a disability for those unable to work?

Bryan Pollard: This relates to the above discussion.

Wendy: My last in this three-part question would be this. And thank you for your patience.

Statement: I hear horror stories from those suffering from hyperacusis how they are being forced into situations where the environment around them is causing them more pain such as a hospital emergency visit.

Wendy: Should hyperacusis be listed under allergic reactions specifically because severe pain can cause one to act out? If a hospital or say an officer knows these people have this health condition should they not have to follow a general guideline of no loud sounds like sirens, closing doors quietly and carefully, a specific area around the suffer to become a bit of a safety bubble for them?

Bryan Pollard: Great question - one I did not get to ask researchers but again this is going to require more significant evidence about the real nature of hyperacusis, the auditory condition and possible damage sustained for people with it as well as evidence of how additional damage may occur in some cases. All of these are topics for additional research.

We would like to thank Bryan Pollard, President of Hyperacusis Research, for taking the time to answer our questions here at examiner.com. If you would like to show your support for those suffering from hyperacusis go to: http://www.hyperacusisresearch.org/ you can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hyperacusisresearch .

(A revised statement was added into this article at the request of Bryan Pollard, President of Hyperacusis Research as a way of giving you the most clear and accurate information possible.)

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