Unfortunately I have somehow turned myself into someone who suffers from hyperacusis. This has been going on for more than a decade, and last year I was checked by the hospital and indeed diagnosed as someone with hyperacusis. They also said there was little they could do for me.
I totally blame my own way of living for this condition. Either it’s the bad sleeping habits, or the bad eating habits, or the bad exercising habits or the fact that I listen to sound all day. Or (most probably) a combination of these. Whatever it is, it is most probably my own fault. But that’s not important. My 31 day challenge is to see if I can make it better, even a small bit. This is pretty difficult to quantify, but I think I will be able to tell if things have improved, worsened or remained as they were.
On http://www.hyperacusis.net/ we read that there are several known substances that may play and adverse role in hyperacusis (and/or tinitus; those two are very much related). One of these is caffeine. Now I used to be a coffee junk for several decades, but I’ve pretty much switched to decaf and tea a few years ago. However, that still means I have a daily dose of caffeine intake. At mayoclinic.org we read that decaf can have as much as 12 mg of caffeine, while black tea can have as much as 70 mg of caffeine. Even green tea can still contain as much as 45 mg of caffeine.
Another thing that has helped many people suffering from either hyperacusis or tinitus is listening to pink noise. A pink noise generator was of course easily built in max msp. Here’s how my pink noise generator looks:
You can download this pink noise generator as an OSX app for free here. Hyperacusis.net suggests listening to pink noise at a low level.
So here’s my personal challenge: I will drink only fluids that contain absolutely no caffeine for the next 31 days. I will also listen to my pink noise generator as much as possible. Then it is of course impossible to tell which of these two was the most beneficial in alleviating the hyperacusis condition (if at all!), but if I report some form of progress, this might be helpful for others suffering from the same or a similar condition. I will report back after 31 days, that is october 4, 2014. I think there will be some physiological response in my body from total caffeine withdrawal. Today was lost (had some tea and decaf already), so my start date is tomorrow, september 3, 2014.