Diplacusis is generally a symptom of unilateral or bilateral hearing loss. Onset is usually sudden and can be caused by exposure to loud noise, an ear infection, an obstruction in the ear canal (such as compacted earwax), or head trauma. People who develop diplacusis may also notice tinnitus in the affected ear.
Diplacusis comes from the Greek words “diplous” and “akousis”, meaning double hearing. It causes the sufferer to perceive a dissonance in the pitch or timing of a sound from one ear to the other.
Diplacusis is generally a symptom of sensorineural hearing loss, and there are different types of the condition:
Treatment for diplacusis varies from case to case. Diplacusis caused by an obstruction or an infection in the ear may resolve itself once the obstruction is removed or the ear infection clears up, while diplacusis caused by hearing loss is more likely to be permanent, and can potentially be treated with hearing aids.
It’s very important to correctly diagnose the type of diplacusis so that the appropriate treatment can be applied. Diagnosis for diplacusis should be done with a full hearing test or exam by a trained hearing clinician.