The signs and symptoms of tinnitus and hyperacusis may vary in description and severity across individuals. Both tinnitus and hyperacusis may be symptoms of other disorders or diseases and/or may be associated with other conditions.
Tinnitus may be
- acute or chronic;
- bothersome or nonbothersome;
- centered in the head or localized outside the head;
- constant, pulsing, or intermittent;
- high or low in pitch;
- present in one or both ears; and/or
- of variable loudness.
Hyperacusis is characterized by an intolerance to, or a response of discomfort (physical and/or emotional) to, sounds that would be considered acceptable or tolerable to the average listener with normal hearing.
Conditions that may co-occur or that may be associated with the presence of tinnitus and/or hyperacusis include
- depression or anxiety;
- Ménière's disease;
- noise-induced hearing loss;
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD);
- phonophobia; and
- posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Individuals with tinnitus and/or hyperacusis may also experience functional limitations, including
- difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly;
- difficulty following conversations;
- difficulty performing work tasks;
- difficulty resting and relaxing;
- difficulty sleeping;
- emotional issues;
- perceived hearing difficulty;
- relationship problems; and
- social isolation and avoidance.