Types of Diplacusis

Diplacusis can be experienced in a number of different ways:
  • Diplacusis monauralis affects just one ear, while diplacusis binauralis affects both ears.
  • Diplacusis dysharmonica is the most common form, causing one ear to hear sounds at a different pitch than the other ear.
  • Diplacusis echoica causes one ear to hear faster than the other, resulting in an echo effect.
Sometimes people can experience diplacusis echoica and diplacusis dysharmonica at the same time, causing both pitch and speed differences. Diplacusis may also be experienced alongside other hearing problems such as tinnitus.

Diplacusis is more common in people who have some kind of hearing loss, especially if only in one ear.


Causes of Diplacusis

Diplacusis is often caused by damage to the hair cells of the inner ear. However, there may be several other causes, many of which are temporary and can be resolved. The most common causes of diplacusis include:
  • Hearing loss due to noise exposure, age, and medical conditions
  • Head trauma
  • Certain medications
  • Ear wax blockage
  • Ear infections
  • Blocked sinuses or blocked eustachian tubes due to allergies or respiratory infections
  • A rare tumour called an acoustic neuroma
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Thyroid conditions
Because there are so many potential causes of diplacusis and it can be a symptom of another medical condition, it’s important to seek professional advice from a doctor or audiologist if you suddenly start experiencing an echo or pitch difference in your hearing.


Diplacusis Treatments

Treating diplacusis effectively depends on the specific cause. If it is caused by a temporary blockage in the ear, clearing or treating the blockage should eliminate the diplacusis.

A physical blockage of earwax can cause several hearing issues such as muffled sound, tinnitus, or diplacusis. Luckily, it’s easy to resolve. Our wax removal services use suction technology to safely and comfortably remove built-up earwax and improve your hearing.

If you’re experiencing changes in your hearing alongside cold or allergies and everything sounds lower pitched, contact your doctor for advice. You may be able to take medicines to improve your hearing until you fully recover. Diplacusis caused by a virus will normally disappear by itself within a few weeks of you recovering from the illness.

If you’ve had a fall, experienced a sports injury or accident with any part of your head, it’s possible you may have a head injury, even if there is no external sign of damage. Make sure to seek medical advice, and tell your doctor that you hear different pitches in each ear. Often, hearing changes due to head trauma resolve themselves in time. But sometimes you can suddenly experience diplacusis or other hearing changes weeks or months after your injury.

If you’re experiencing double hearing due to hearing loss, you may need a hearing aid. Auditory rehabilitation and training can also be helpful to improve your perception of sound and help your brain adapt to the differences in pitch or timing.

If everything sounds off-pitch, you’re having trouble following conversations or hearing people clearly, and you find you need to turn up the volume on your TV, it’s a good idea to book a hearing test to assess your hearing.

Connect Hearing has over 130 clinics throughout Australia, offering professional hearing tests and multiple types of hearing aids. Find your nearest clinic and make an appointment today.