On the Quest for Silence: Living With Hyperacusis

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Meltzer rarely leaves his apartment – and his biggest fear is the new Rumbler siren, which he describes as "devastating." Cohen says the special low-frequency penetrates their soundproof windows and her protective earmuffs. "The Rumbler is driving us out of town," says Meltzer.

Bryan Pollard, an electrical engineer who developed hyperacusis after exposure to a noisy wood chipper, hopes to encourage research for what he deems a "rare and misunderstood" condition. He founded a nonprofit, Hypercusis Research, designed as a bridge between patients and researchers.

Meltzer has started his own online support group, Hypercusis Ear Pain, for people with hyperacusis, dedicated to the memories of two young musicians who committed suicide because of the condition.

Meltzer says his saving grace has been his relationship with his wife. "We're very lucky to have found each other," says Meltzer. "We never raise our voices to each other," adds Cohen.

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