Unlock new offers at our Endless Summer Event!

Diplacusis: The syndrome of "double hearing"

Last update on May, 29, 2023

What is Diplacusis?

Diplacusis, or double hearing syndrome, is a hearing disorder in which the same sound is perceived differently between the two ears in intensity, pitch and tonality.

The symptoms can affect only one ear (Diplacusis monauralis) or both (Diplacusis binauralis), and derive from various causes, including poorly treated otitis media, too intense exposure to sound waves or even obstruction of the ear canal. The perception of double hearing proves to be particularly harmful as the subject loses the reference points of the sound source, being unable to transform the acoustic waves into neuronal stimulations.

Types of Diplacusis

While for some people diplacusis is only a temporary disorder, for others it may be permanent. There are different types of diplacusis, such as:

Diplacusis Dysharmonica is when a sound is clearly audible in one ear despite having a different pitch in the other ear.

We speak about Diplacusis Echoica when the sound perception times are different between the two ears causing an echo effect.

Diplacusis Monauralis is when a single sound is perceived as two different sounds in the same ear.

Diplacusis Binauralis represents the most widespread form of diplacusis and consists of a different perception of the same sound in both ears.
Lump behind the ear

Prevention is key

Never underestimate the importance of ear care, your hearing might depend on it.

Diplacusis causes

Diplacusis causes can be different. The disorder is related to damage to the inner ear and can occur when the person already suffers from sensorineural or conductive hearing loss. In addition, people who develop diplacusis usually develop it suddenly after exposure to loud noise, ear infections, or head trauma. Diplacusis' main causes include:

Find your closest Miracle-Ear center

Your store

Diplacusis treatment and remedies

Effective treatment of diplacusis links to its underlying causes. In some situations it is a transient phenomenon that tends to disappear spontaneously within a short time. In other cases, however, the problem becomes chronic and requires targeted solutions. This is why, when the first symptoms appear, it is advisable to consult a physician or hearing care specialist who, after a careful visit and instrumental tests, will identify the source of the disorder:

  • If the diplacusis can be attributable to an obstruction of the ear canal, it is necessary to free it through specific interventions by an ENT doctor (otorhinolaryngologist);
  • When diplacusis depends on an unresolved ear infection, your physician will advise you on the best therapy, including antibiotics and anti-inflammatories;
  • Surgery may be necessary to remove tumors or abnormal growths, like in the case of an acoustic neuroma.

If diplacusis is related to sensorineural or conductive hearing loss and becomes chronic, and medical intervention does not resolve the issue then another option may be from a hearing aid. To choose the best hearing aid designed and adapted to your needs, contact our hearing care professionals. You can always visit Miracle-Ear for any hearing problem; remember that periodic hearing tests can help prevent many disorders. Contact us to book an appointment!
Hand showing a hearing aid

Explore our hearing aids

Interested in exploring hearing aids? Discover discreet, rechargeable and connectable solutions.

Diplacusis test and diagnosis

For a correct diagnosis of diplacusis, it will be necessary to contact a physician or audiologist, who will carry out a visit and further instrumental tests, including a hearing test. They will be able to identify the triggering cause of the problem and prescribe the most appropriate treatment for the type of diplacusis.

Does diplacusis go away? How long does it last?

Diplacusis may be transient from an ear canal obstruction, ear infection or other type of ear disease. By resolving the underlying cause, the diplacusis should also go away.

However, if diplacusis is related to a form of hearing loss, it may be necessary to treat it with hearing aids.

HCP at store

Care for your ears

One of the best ways to care for your ears and prevent hearing loss is to get them properly examined by a hearing professional. Find your nearest Miracle-Ear store to get started on your journey to better hearing.

More from the blog

Discover a world of sounds.
View all

Get support and advice

Book an appointment online

Book now

Take a free online hearing test

Start test

Find a hearing aid center near you

Search now