Presentation by Dr. Craig Formby
Intervention for Hyperacusis and Reduced Sound Tolerance
Abstract: Over the past decade and a half, my colleagues and I have conducted a series of studies to gain a better understanding of hyperacusis and its treatment within the context of a TRT-based intervention program. My presentation will: (1) distinguish hyperacusis from other commonly confused sound-tolerance complaints, related conditions, and supra-threshold symptoms such as loudness recruitment, phonophobia, and misophonia; (2) contrast treatment options for hyperacusis in terms of the effects of sound-attenuating verus sound-enhancing interventions; and (3) review the concept of an adaptive and plastic central auditory gain control process and its hypothetical role in the hyperacusis phenomenon. I will highlight new findings from a randomized controlled trial of the TRT protocol for hyperacusis and parse the individual treatment effects of the sound therapy and counseling components of the treatment protocol. These findings reveal that sound therapy can be implemented successfully with counseling to improve sound tolerance, enhance speech understanding, and augment hearing aid benefit for individuals who, before treatment, had reduced sound tolerance and aided benefit.
Bio: Dr. Craig Formby is a Distinguished Graduate Research Professor at the University of Alabama, with appointments in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering. In addition, he holds a university-wide appointment as Director of the Office of Research Faculty Development. Dr. Formby was awarded his doctoral degree in Communication Science from Washington University and the Central Institute for the Deaf in 1982, after which he completed a year of post-doctoral research training in Neurology. From 1983-1990, Dr. Formby served on the faculty at the University of Florida, where he was the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) career development award. From 1990-2006, Dr. Formby directed audiological services and clinical training programs at the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland Schools of Medicine, including co-direction of a joint graduate training program with the University of Maryland, College Park. From 2004-2007, Dr. Formby served in a dual capacity as an assistant dean for research in the University of Maryland School of Medicine and as an assistant dean in the Graduate School at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, where he established an institutional office for post-doctoral scholars. Dr. Formby’s sponsored research has been continuously funded since 1987 by federal awards from the NIH, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DoD). His recent research funding includes a pair of NIH awards to elucidate mechanisms and treatments for sound tolerance problems, with a primary focus on hyperacusis. Dr. Formby currently serves as the PI and Study Chair for an ongoing randomized controlled trial of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, which is the only active definitive Phase III trial currently sponsored by NIDCD. Dr. Formby is a past editor for the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, and is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.