The world was very different millions of years ago. The long-necked Diplacusis roamed this volcano-laden landscape. Diplacusis was so big, thanks to its long tail and neck, that no other predators were a threat.
Actually, Diplodocus is the long-necked dinosaur from the Jurassic Period. Diplacusis is a hearing affliction that causes you to hear two sounds instead of one.
Diplacusis is an affliction which can be challenging and confusing resulting in difficulty communicating.
Perhaps your hearing has been a little weird lately
We’re used to regarding hearing loss as a sort of progressive lowering of the volume knob. Over time, the idea is, we simply hear less and less. But sometimes, hearing loss can manifest in some unusual ways. One of the most fascinating (or, perhaps, frustrating) such manifestations is a condition called diplacusis.
Diplacusis, what is it?
So, what’s diplacusis? The meaning of the medical name diplacusis is simply “double hearing”. Normally, your brain takes information from the right ear and information from the left ear and marries them harmoniously into a single sound. That’s what you hear. Your eyes are doing the same thing. If you place a hand over your right eye and then a hand on your left eye, you see slightly different images, right? Normally, with your ears, you don’t even notice it.
Diplacusis occurs when the hearing abilities of your ears vary so wildly that your brain can no longer merge them, at least not well. You can develop diplacusis as a result of hearing loss in one ear (called monaural diplacusis) or both ears (binaural diplacusis).
Diplicusis comes in two types
Different people are affected differently by diplacuses. However, there are usually two basic forms of diplacusis:
- Diplacusis dysharmonica: This form of diplacusis occurs when the pitch of the right ear and the pitch of the left ear seem off. So the sound will be distorted when someone speaks with you. Maybe your right ear hears the sound as low-pitched and your left ear thinks the sound is high-pitched. This can cause those sounds to be hard to understand.
- Diplacusis echoica: With this, what you hear will seem off because your brain gets the sound from each ear out of sync with the other rather than hearing two different pitches. Artifacts like echoes can be the outcome. And understanding speech can become complicated as a result.
Symptoms of diplacusis
Here are some symptoms of diplacusis:
- Off pitch hearing
- Phantom echoes
- Off timing hearing
The condition of double vision could be a useful comparison: Yes, it can produce some symptoms on its own, but it’s normally itself a symptom of something else. (In other words, it’s the effect, not the cause.) In these circumstances, diplacusis is nearly always a symptom of hearing loss (either in one ear or in both ears). So your best course of action would be to Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test.
What causes diplacusis?
The causes of diplacusis line up very well, in a general sense, with the causes of hearing loss. But there are a few particular reasons why you could develop diplacusis:
- Earwax: Your ability to hear can be affected by an earwax blockage. Whether that earwax causes a partial or full blockage, it can cause diplacusis.
- Noise-induced damage to your ears: If you’ve experienced hearing loss caused by noise damage, it’s possible that it could cause diplacusis.
- An infection: Swelling of your ear canal can be the result of an ear infection, sinus infection, or even allergies. This inflammation, while a typical response, can impact the way sound moves through your inner ear and to your brain.
- A tumor: In some very rare instances, tumors inside your ear canal can result in diplacusis. But stay calm! They’re normally benign. But you still should consult with us about it.
It’s obvious that there are a number of the same causes of diplacusis and hearing loss. Meaning that you probably have some degree of hearing loss if you have diplacusis. Which means it’s a good idea to visit a hearing specialist.
Treatments for diplacusis
The treatments for diplacusis differ based on the root cause. If you have a blockage, treating your diplacusis will center around clearing it out. However, diplacusis is frequently brought on by irreversible sensorineural hearing loss. In these situations, the best treatment options include:
- Hearing aids: Your hearing can be neutralized with the right set of hearing aids. This means that the symptoms of diplacusis will likely fade. It’s essential to get the correct settings on your hearing aids and you’ll need to have us assist you with that.
- Cochlear implant: A cochlear implant might be the only way of managing diplacusis if the root cause is profound hearing loss.
A hearing exam is the first step to getting it all figured out. Think about it this way: a hearing test will be able to determine what type of hearing loss is at the root of your diplacusis (and, to be fair, you may not even recognize it as diplacusis, you may just think stuff sounds weird these days). We have really sensitive hearing tests nowadays and any inconsistencies with how your ears are hearing the world will be found.
Life is more fun when you can hear well
Getting the proper treatment for your diplacusis, whether that’s a hearing aid or something else, means you’ll be more capable of participating in your daily life. It will be easier to talk to people. It will be easier to communicate with your family.
So there will be no diplacusis symptoms getting in the way of your ability to hear your grandchildren telling you all about the Diplodocus.
Call today for an appointment to get your diplacusis symptoms assessed.