Hyperacusis is an abnormally strong reaction to sound occurring within the auditory pathways. The same sound would not evoke a similar reaction in an average listener. The listener actually feels physical discomfort as a result of the exposure to the sound regardless if it is quiet, medium or loud. The cause can be both peripheral and central auditory dysfunction.

Hyperacusis can occur in conjunction with tinnitus but can stand alone as its own exclusive problem.