Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud

December 27, 2013 Paulissa Kipp

Noise sensitivity can be a mental health trigger, but there are things you can do to lessen noise sensitivity (hyperacusis). Get tips here.

Noise sensitivity can be likened to nails on a blackboard. The constant buzz and whir of music, technology, the buzzing of Facebook notifications, ringing phones and loud conversations can be overwhelming. This sensitivity to noise is known as hyperacusis, a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain processes noise.

When a sufferer comes to dread social settings due to the noise, it can become a mental health trigger. Sufferers may feel trapped with no escape, want some place quiet or feel disoriented, as though he or she can hear every noise or conversation in a room. The effect is similar to being in an echo chamber.

Causes of Noise Sensitivity

Hearing loss does not necessarily reduce sensory overload. The way in which the brain processes the sound does not mean that a person with hyperacusis, or sensitivity to sound in general, has better hearing. It's just that he or she is more sensitive to certain sounds: paper rustling, conversations, heating and air system sounds, etc.

Some causes of sensory overload include:

  • brain injury
  • airbag deployment
  • epilepsy
  • ear damage
  • TMJ
  • Neurological conditions such as migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and posttraumatic stress disorder can also be associated with increased sensitivity to noise.

Tips to Reduce Noise Sensitivity

  • Incorporate some white noise into your surroundings - run a fan, invest in a white noise machine, open a window or install a white noise app on your cell phone.
  • Wear noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds.
  • Try positioning yourself in another area of the room.
  • If you are wearing a hoodie, putting the hood up can lessen the stimulation.
  • Using a tactile tool, such as rubbing a smooth stone can provide enough of a distraction to facilitate calming (Using Objects to Reduce Anxiety).
  • Use post-it notes to cover sensors on auto-flushing toilets or automatic hand driers.
  • Visiting during non-peak times and seeking seating on the perimeter can help to reduce exposure to noise.

What do you do when the world becomes too loud? We'd love to hear what has worked for you.

APA Reference
Kipp, P. (2013, December 27). Noise Sensitivity: When The World Is Too Loud, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Paulissa Kipp

September, 1 2016 at 5:35 am

I am one of the extremely unlucky fellas when it comes to noise pollution by location. Guess where I live.......Nigeria!
This is one of the noisiest countries in the world. My city of residence is characterised by church and mosque buildings firmly stuck in between residential areas. They have external speakers mounted. Churches, (the one I attend inclusive) are the greatest noise pollutants. I can no longer attend. They scream loud Hallelujahs, dance to rock-like Jesus music, pray by shouting demons down, and usually look tired and worn out sweaty like they got hit by an elephant after every church service. They believe you have a spiritual problem if you're not making a joyful noise.Then they are ranting about the next church high.In a bid to escape the havoc of noise, I found me a quiet office space 20 minutes drive from home.( Home is surrounded by churches too) the foundation and motivator of creativity. All em noisy guys never invented nothing. How do you hear a God that is hidden, Quiet and incomprehensible by screaming and shouting???

August, 29 2016 at 8:55 pm

I am amazed that I am not alone in this awful issue. Yesterday was ruined because of my intolerance to noise on the beach, we went for a BBQ and typically a group of noisy youths parked behind us and sure enough on went their thumping music ruining everything. My partner and I had an enormous argument about it and we still aren't speaking as he put lots of effort into getting everything organised for the bbq and I spoiled it because of my intolerance. I am jealous of people who can blot out these wildly irritating individuals who think it is okay to ruin everyone else's peace but then I suppose they have every right to be there just as I have. My problem grew after living next door to a DJ and his insane mother who had all night parties, these could spring up at any time and my nerves became more and more shattered. It got worse and worse an only stopped after 8 long years when he moved out. No amount of letters, interventions etc. would stop their parties and they went on most times until the early hours when they would eventually become tired and sleep and then they would wake up and start again as neither of them had a meaningful job. One particularly awful night the same CD was played over and over again as they had all fallen asleep. I nearly went mad! This has contributed to my hatred of loud music. My partner just thinks I am a grumpy moo. I can deal with most other noises but the panic that ensues when groups of youths get together and the inevitable racket begings is crippling, this has now grown to a total intolerance to having the radio on in the car and people listening to music on their headphones on trains (I travel a lot) and people having loud conversations - to the extent where I have to move to a different seat all the time to find the optimum peace. I wish there was something I could do to deal with this as it is becoming worse.

August, 28 2016 at 9:05 am

So. I am not alone ... btw loud noises makes me angry and it takes me 5-10 mins to become back to the normal and during that duration I become mad but still I can't show my anger to my parents so I have to keep quite after telling them to lower the volume again and again and I think that's the reason I'm becoming short tempered...

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August, 22 2016 at 9:42 pm

Oh I am so glad I found this! I struggle with daily noises and especially at night if I hear a noise (child get up to you the bathroom...) I am awake for hours afterwards. My youngest child and husband are extremely loud by nature and I sometimes feel like I don't know what to do. I wear ear defenders (industrial ones) which hurt the area around my ears and jaw, I wear silicone earphones but they hurt inside my ears after wearing them too much. I am light sensitive and movement sensitive also so I'm pretty sure there is something going on with me...I feel like I can't stay in my situation and I can't go as I love my family! What a pickle! Anyone else have a household of overwhelming husband/child? If so, coping strategies? I am trying everything known to man haha

August, 22 2016 at 12:02 pm

I thought I was losing my mind....I really thought I was crazy. I have six children, so as you can imagine my home is very loud and very, very busy. It's not just the noise that makes me freak out, but it can also be too much movement. This didn't use to bother me that much, but recently it has become all I can do to not totally lose my mind. I literally feel trapped and want to run I just need some peace.....It didn't make much sense to me until I read some of the causes. I have had a lot of problems with my ears growing up, and am majority deaf in my right ear, so obviously that's the likely cause of these episodes. I don't think white noise will fix my situation though. Is there any other way to stop the anxiety associated with this?

Deborah Allen
August, 21 2016 at 4:06 pm

Mine started after getting out of an abusive marriage. I was thrown against a wall four times and the very last time I felt like my heart stopped for a second and my whole head was ringing. I was so terrified I fell down and felt like throwing up. I couldn't talk, couldn't cry, couldn't hear until a good hour later. Felt like my soul was ripped out. I am still having problems hearing, my neck cracks loudly, I can't STAND loud tv or noises but tolerate it with other people around. I can't get out of the house due to extreme fear, can't sleep during certain hours of the night, can't stand movies or books that have any sort of violence. I get dizzy a lot and am very depressed most of the time. I have "smiling depression". I have unexplained aches and pains as well.

August, 19 2016 at 9:07 pm

My boyfriend has a had his left ear damaged and it is extremely sensitive. Unfortunately, we live on a loud corner and have a jack Russell terrier mix. This means there is always noise and the dog barks. His first reaction is to yell and scream which drives me crazy and does not solve the problems long term. He thinks I should justify his yelling at the dog. I understand he is in pain but when I remind him of his promise to wear an earplug in his bad ear he complains about having to wear one while he is at home watching t.v. Seriously we have two cats and a dog because he fell in love with them and wanted them. He will have moments when he understands his response makes it worse and does better for a little while. But then out of nowhere he will lose it when the dog barks. Apparently my own anger or frustration with his response only makes it worse.

August, 19 2016 at 4:09 pm

I'm not sure if I am hypersensitive, but I can longer workout with earbuds playing my favorite tunes. I won't sleep if I do, not one wink! I am very sensitive to noises at night. If I am having trouble sleeping, each little house creak, dog barking and opening doors will send a firing jolt down my neck and down my spine. I just recently ( three days ago) tried working out in the theater room of my gym, and I thought It was great, but I did not sleep a wink that night. I take ambien and olanzapine to help me sleep, but not even that will work when I am exposed to loud sounds. Our issues are not quite understood by everyone, so getting to hear some of these stories is very comforting. I wish all of you some peace and compassion. May people someday become more sympathetic to our cause..

August, 16 2016 at 9:40 am

It is both illuminating and sad that so many others feel as I do. With me it;s not noise per se but the noise that I can't control. Those rowdy kids outside of my apartment, the never-ending sound of heavy machinery at the company next door to where I work. My way of coping with it all is doing me no good - at home I try to drown it out with my own music (which, of course, I can control) but lately I've taken to just not going home after I finish work. I wander about a forest, sit in the car until it's dark (and safe to go home?) It helps but it feels like "they" have won, which lessens my feelings of self-worth and increases my feeling there's something wrong with ME. Not them. I don't know what the answer is. I've mved house twice, done the doctor thing, even seen a psychiatrist. Nothing helps. Sometimes I wonder whether it's all worth it anymore.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 20 2017 at 1:51 am

This is very very familiar to me. People really don't appreciate the noise they make is intrusive and unpleasant for many others. I have had wear industrial ear defenders at home when there was building going on next door. I work and study at home so need peace and tranquillity. Noisy children, builders, cars and generally people can make some days very challenging.

August, 12 2016 at 4:24 pm

It is such a relief when I hear or read that others react to noise the way I do!
I do take action and wear earplugs nearly the entire day. If I'm home I live in them, when I'm out in the city I always have one in so I can avoid an accident, I turn on fans, air cons, close my windows, play music... but this just barely helps. I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder years ago and suffer from migraines as well as headaches.
I prefer to avoid the general population as they wear me out with their inability to be quiet for even a few seconds! Nonsensical chatter and boisterous laughter incessantly.
People, for the most part, do not have a clue how to behave these days! Self centredness seems to dominate most people's lives.
Common curtesy is pretty much obsolete and etiquette non existent.
I live in Hong Kong and the loud people is the norm. People here, for the most part, love being loud, noisy, andshow very little consideration for others. When I've asked someone to please not speak so loudly or to please wear earbuds/ headphones when listening to their music or
watching a video on the ferry, bus... They get so
offended! And will resort to name calling,
swearing at me, telling me to go back to my own
I was raised to be considerate of others! One is a product of their environment.
Who are the role models these days?
Thank you all for your shares.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 20 2017 at 1:48 am

I sympathise with you. I get very frustrated with music in restaurants that is so loud that everyone has to talk over the top of it. I can find this makes me quite anxious and fractious. Noise jangles me when I am anxious and / or hot, so Hong Kong sounds as if it would be a very difficult place for me to live. My partner who is sympathetic tries to encourage me to block sound out or ignore the source, but when I am worried about a deadline or other issue I have to wear ear plugs or ear defenders to stop me being irritated and distracted by noise.

August, 12 2016 at 12:12 pm

Having PTSD, this noise sensitivity just continues to get worse and worse. I have been getting to the point where I have to move away from the dinner table at home, and walk away from the kids talking to me. I turn the radio off now, because I can't handle people singing along. The volume of people's voices, the fan running and the dishwasher at the same time... I just want to run away. I want to get away from all of it and stay away from people altogether. It's worse when there is any stress involved. And it seems consistent now, where it used to come and go, mostly only when I was overly stressed.

August, 7 2016 at 9:43 am

I am going to the Tasia Maris in Cyprus where everyone drags the chairs in the restaurant. The noise of these happening everyday is very distressing. I did fill in a questionaire asking for rubber tips to be put on the end of chairs but apparently it's not important enough. Has anyone any ideas how I can keep calm during the 2 week holiday. If you explained that you suffer from fibremyalgia it doesn't mean anything. My other problem is children screaming especially in shops, I have had to walk out so many times.

Kath Jones
August, 6 2016 at 12:04 am

I also thought I was alone in this! Such a relief to know it's not just me! Yes, we live in a stupidly loud world, selfish and anti social people behave as if no one else matters taking their toxicity wherever they are - what drives me mad is the way people live as if they are on stage or in a show, actually raising their voices when outside rather, as I was taught, lowering them. I have the same sensitivities detailed in all these posts and in particular suffer from the sheer anticipation of noise, the not knowing when it will start nor how long it will go on. I wear ear plugs in my own home and detest summer when it's worse and you need windows open for air. Maybe air con is the answer but then I don't think I could tolerate the noise it makes! I do counselling and because of neighbour noise, especially screaming kids, thudding balls and trampolines etc I cannot now bring clients home when the kids are likely to be around. I use an office elsewhere which is less convenient but at least I feel I have taken some control. However this year the noise and/or my ability to deal with it has got worse. I identify with the lady who said she fears totally losing it. I get palpitations, raised heart beat, sweaty palms, and can't focus. I have also got weepy and feel out of control. So am going to try white noise and stone stroking! But so far the best thing I did was see my GP whose offhand manner finally drove me to action. I wrote to me neighbours (lovely in all other respects) and told them I was becoming ill from the stress, explained how all the screaming combined with all the hard surfaces in their garden (all decking, paving stones and astro/turf) was impacting my well being, and detailed then what I had done to try to anticipate it and manage my client base etc. I then asked them to understand and meet me half way in realising a time limit needed to be in place so I would know I could anticipate noise ending, and that they should tell me when the kids might have friends round so I could plan to be elsewhere. I asked for the thudding football against the wall and fence to stop. And for them to be so kind as to tell me when they would be away so I could enjoy peace. I felt so much better just writing it down. It looked reasonable (we get in well otherwise) and my husband agreed to go round, talk with them and leave the letter. They were very understanding. And it has, so far, been 100%+ better. As for the rest of it, other neighbours having loud conversations with shrieking loud laughter, cars with loud incessantly untuneful music with windows down, revving car and motorbike engines etc etc, well am hoping the ear plugs, stone stroking and white noise will help.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 20 2017 at 1:57 am

I hope your neighbours are now going to be consistently aware of the impact their noise makes not only on your life but on probably other people's lives in the area. It might make the children more responsible for their own actions in the future. I may take your lead and speak to my neighbours about their children's unnecessary noise. I am becoming more sensitive to noise and am relieved that I am not the only one, those who can block it out have no idea how distressing noise can be.

Tim F.
August, 3 2016 at 1:23 pm

I had a horrible experience. I went to attend a PHP class that was situated in an empty garage, think 'tin can', at the end of a row of buildings. Everyone in that room had anxiety/mental issues. It was like an echo chamber for me. One guy was talking VERY loud, but no one seemed to notice! We were doing art therapy, about 16 different conversations going on at the same time. I was SO overly stimulated and overwhelmed, it was unreal! I left after 1 hr. No one else bothered to leave. Why was I the only one affected??? I had to get the noise out of my ears, but I couldn't figure out how. So I took a towel, ran it under cold water, wrapped it around my head, and laid on the bathroom floor for an hour, with my hands covering my ears, on top of the towel. That helped a lot, but I really don't know what happened to me.

Ruben D.
July, 17 2016 at 8:13 am

Im in the media and entertainment bussiness. As you may all know boyh of those nediums involve music sound effects and bells n whistals. Ut xan drive me crazy if it wearent my job. Now when i go out or even at home the noise level to music tv and video watching on the phone is to much for me. It bothers my ears. At my jib its temparery., but at home or resturant or book store its permanent and i constantly am on edge asking people to lower the music stop laughig so loud. stop movibg furnisher and stop tapping at the walls exc. I hace ut bad with the anticipation of the next attack to my ears around the corner. Only earplugs or my southing music helps.

July, 8 2016 at 12:57 am

35 this year. So maybe im not nuts! Maybe im just sensitive to noise? I've never been able to tolerate loud noise. It makes me physically aick these days. Too much. Ill have to get some war plugs, might get test too check if its real or imagined.. either way is real to me

Withheld for privacy purposes
July, 3 2016 at 2:07 pm

As a highly sensitive person (HSP), I’ve learned to protect myself against loud noises.
Ear plugs are a necessity, to date, I have four pair. Thankfully, the earplugs comes in a case that you can attach to your keyring!
Before I leave the house, they’re in place and the world is a less noisy place.
In my apartment, Marpac noise machine to the rescue, it’s worth the money as I use it every night to keep noises at bay.
The phrase, “there’s an app for that” yes, there are white noise apps, for Android and Mac devices alike.
Simply put, if you’re like me, it’s up to you the individual to take the necessary actions to prevent noise from getting to you. If you leave it up to the noise makers, you’re ultimately giving them control over what is disturbing you.
Take the necessary actions to keep your life quiet and calm--it’s up to you.
My two cents

June, 28 2016 at 3:28 am

The loud noises that really wind me up mostly relate to motor vehicles: loud car/motorbike engines, sirens, car horns, lorries with heavy trailers going over bumps in the road too fast, lorry drivers unloading their loads too carelessly (thumping down heavy metal beer kegs on the ground etc.) However, I am also bothered by people talking too loudly or shouting completely unnecessarily. I think what bothers me the most is that all of these noises (with the exception of sirens) are made deliberately, selfishly and needlessly: the angry motorist who honks their horn in annoyance, the car driver or motorcyclist who deliberately rev their engine in impatience or because they want to show off their horsepower, the lorry driver in too much of a hurry, the people with no social skills who think that shouting at each other or shrieking with laughter in a public place is perfectly acceptable. I've lost count of the number of times I've jumped out of my skin while walking along, my shoulders have suddenly tensed and my hand has flown involuntarily to my ear while my anger and anxiety levels have gone through the roof. I know that the world is not going to quieten down any time soon and that I'm going to have to be the one to adapt myself to it, but it doesn't stop me wishing. My dream is that some day the stress - or knowledge of this - that people like me experience from sudden loud noises will become much more widespread, to the point that there will be severe consequences for people who deliberately breach certain noise levels and better still that excess noise will become as taboo and frowned upon as, say, urinating in public. Well, maybe not that exactly but you know what I mean.

June, 28 2016 at 2:49 am

I searched "why does every little noise bother me", because, I can hear a tap dripping somewhere, a cough, a tapping of a pen on a desk, the click of computer mouse the typing of my own hands on the keyboard, it is loud. I am frantic. I hear a bird chirp and it is about my only escape - someone clearing their throat again. The notification light on my cell phone, the electronic clock of the stove, the Wi-Fi light is on again. The dog shuffles and sniffles just beneath my bedroom window. The squeaking of a shoe on a wooden floor. Keys. Aircon. Talking. Wind. Cat wants food. I can hear the voices from the headphones he is wearing. Cabinet opening and closing. The telephones are a bit more quiet today. The revving of an engine. I can hear my own headache and the croaking of my voice and I am close to loosing my head. A door opening and closing. footsteps. breathing. Kettle boiling. I want to escape for a bit to a silent hill with a big shadow tree and a sunny day.

Zulay Ruby
June, 24 2016 at 3:45 pm

Thank goodness!
I thought I was alone. Everything started at work with some of my co-workers, they don't talk, they just shout. They know about my sensitive ears but they don't care and sometimes they are louder on purpose. I'm even thinking on resigning because I can't handle it anymore, it's affecting my way of living and seems like no-one understands. I went to my GP and she sent me for a hearing test, the Ear Technician told me that my hearing is exceptional which does not help and I'm thinking of going back to the GP. I can't even use the vacuum cleaner because I feel nauseas. I even thought that I'm starting with some kind of paranoid, some type of dementia or even a brain tumour. Thanks to all of you for your stories, gave me hope.

jac podevin
June, 22 2016 at 1:59 am

I think it has been a recent thing for me I ma 68 years old now and this past year have had an increased sensitivity to noise - I have D.I.D so it is possible that one of my alters has the sensitivity because i am unaware until it becomes unbearable and then I just have to run away. Sometimes I am shouting myself, a great long NOOOOOO! I came to look at sites to see what I can do but I am already doing most of these things the stone stroking sounds good tip I didnt know about .Thanks.

June, 21 2016 at 7:00 am

I totally agree with EVERYTHING Leslie Rothwell has written! I also live in the UK & most days I feel totally overwhelmed by general noise.....can't get away from it. People don't spare a thought for anyone else lately. I'm so glad I found this article....I no longer feel alone lol

Leslie Rothwell
June, 18 2016 at 4:32 am

Im really glad im not alone on this, i feel like im going mad with the amount of noise everyone and everything makes these days! if its not people shouting its noisy garden tools with motors or loud music or builders hammering etc.... etc... etc....!!!!! i literally feel like im going to lose control and attack someone as the rage i feel is so intense.... no one seems to have a shred of common decency or consideration any more, i feel like i'm from another planet! Everyone is just ME! ME! ME! i am actually an audio engineer and i know my hearing if very finely tuned but things are waaay out of control with noise levels these days, and no one is doing anything about it, in fact its getting worse and worse....the laws regarding noise are practically a joke! in simple terms you have to be driven insane with noise for at least 12 months and keep a record of it before the "supposed" authorities will even begin to take note of your problem, if you kidnapped someone and subjected them to noise torture for even a week you would be arrested and charged so i fail to see the difference if your life is being made a misery due to someone else's noise??? and yet that can go on for years! I live in the UK and its unbearable here now as this tiny little island is bursting at the seams... I am so fed up with things i am moving to a different country soon that has a much smaller population, i know im not alone on this as some of my friends and family feel the same, something needs to be done about this modern epidemic of noise pollution and unless people take a stand its only going to get worse, i have suffered with this for about 20 years now and most people just "Dont Get It" they look at you like your from Mars when you try to even bring the subject up so i dont bother anymore! all i can say that ignorance and prejudice are very much alive and well.... i wish i could get people to understand what its like to be affected by this but most seem to have a part of their brain missing when it comes to this subject! i live my life actually considering others which seems to be as extinct as the Dodo now, i would be horrified to think my actions were causing others great misery but many seem to think this is a joke and have no reverence for others feelings... a lot of articles about this subject offer help for sufferers which is a good thing of course but what NONE of them address is the fact we are all subjected to too much noise these days and that peoples attitudes need to completely change when it comes to considering other around them, this is the root of many of these problems not the fact that some of us are more sensitive than others, however we all know which solution is much easier to instigate don't we!

June, 17 2016 at 8:40 am

when I hear a loud noise, like something heavy hitting the ground, I can feel it in the back of my neck and it sends a shockwave of sorts up into my brain and I freeze and panic. anyone know what I can do?

June, 16 2016 at 2:55 am

I understand the noise sensitivity. Mine started when a building site 1 metre from my house with workers turning up at 5.30a.m in the morning for 15 months hence now a sensitivity to noise. I moved twice but it appears that noise like motor bikes/ hotted up cars/ planes/ door banging triggers me off to the extent my blood pressure rises and an anxiety. I just want to be in the bush for peace and quiet now. I'm trying meditating and ear plugs an.d am going to talk to my doctor as I feel it has to be bought under control for me to have a better quality of life

David Venters
June, 13 2016 at 6:08 am

I have dyspraxia and thus a lower tolerance to sound and hate everyone talking loudly on there phones on the bus

June, 2 2016 at 5:08 pm

just read other comments, amazed that i'm not alone. unless you experience the actual feelings of going mad, or literal panic people think you're just over acting. I would love to sleep in a padded cell, silence!! also, on top of the noise making you mad, it's also the fact that people can be so selfish and thoughtless that gets me psychotic as well

June, 2 2016 at 4:58 pm

Thanks for this article, nice to know that I'm not going mad! for me it's the base sound of music and unfortunately in this 'modern' selfish world, I cannot escape it and like the comment above it comes into my flat which feels like such an invasion. The home is the place where I come to escape the world outside and then the music starts and it literally drives me insane, it's like a switch goes off in my head and it drives me mad. other people just say I'm over sensitive but it is a real problem for me, I'm actually in pain with it and I become almost suicidal despite trying the obvious solutions to blot it out. I have moved several times but cannot escape noise. the anticipation is just as bad as well, not knowing when it's going to start up again, my nerves are on edge, I can't relax in my own home. sometimes there are so many noise going on such as traffic, aeroplanes, people that it feels like lots of flies buzzing around my head and I can't stand it. I just want some peace and quiet and I've never found it. please someone say they understand what I mean

April, 13 2016 at 1:30 am

My son was diagnosed when he was in the 2nd grade. His hearing on a normal pediatrician's testing was off the scale as to perceiving high pitched noises that most of us do not so they referred him to the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD where they ran an extensive audiology test on him. It was determined that he had the hearing capacity of a deer, but he had severe hyperacusis as his brain did not decipher any audible noises in loud areas or when 3-5 people were speaking at the same time...he was not daydreamer or ignoring people, he just had no idea what they were saying. There was no cure for this. He would have near panic attacks if we were in a loud restaurant and was unable to eat. I am very thankful to our school system for offering speech therapy at the age of 3 and his pediatrician for getting us to the correct facility to determine his issues. The speech was from the hyperacusis. He no longer has any speech issues. He was given an FM trainer for education and has to wear soft ear plugs in loud arenas like indoor basketball games or concerts. He is now 21yrs old and lives with this daily since it is a function of the brain that cannot be changed.

laura hagler
April, 2 2016 at 9:40 am

I'm so glad I found this website! I also am verry sensitive to noise (among other things. Is there a way to communicate with others on this site?

March, 29 2016 at 12:41 pm

It's like people only care about themselves, even when they know it will effect you and your comfort. It's even worse when your in an enclosed surrounding, like a car, and the person controlling the audio does it to just annoy you. I don't know if in the only one, but also when someone starts to sing along, clap their hands, or whistle to the song, it just puts me on edge, feeling like it was stupid.

March, 27 2016 at 5:59 pm

I am so glad reading most of these comments that I'm not alone. I've had numerous panic attacks from loud music below me (that is on low but sounds like it's right in my apartment) people above me waking me up and keeping me up at crazy hours. My head pounds. I anticipate when it will happen next it sends me spiralling into severe fits of anxiety and panic attacks. Nobody understands what it's like. I finally stood up for myself and put in my letter to the tribunal. If they can't do anything about all of this and my landlady doesn't become sensitive to my own mental health needs I'm going to start to.withold rent. I told my father this and he said I'm going to really piss her off I said good who would want to live with cold water, loud noises your sensitive to, s toilet that doesn't properly flush and nasty crawlies biting your whole back. I have had a lot of dsir weather friends but I'm glad the ones who are sticking by me aren't going anywhere even if they annoy me guess family does that even if there not blood. Isn't it just great all the amount of sleep were losing because people have no common sense or human decency?

Anita Kuhnhenn
March, 21 2016 at 6:16 pm

Sensory integration was my childhood /bipolar as well in teens... As an adult is became diabetic, fibromyalgia, TMJ, migraines, and a nerve/muscle disorder that's being diagnosed now... It's chaotic at my Dr appts, my illnesses don't play well with each other, gotten worse w/age.. I couldn't work after 45 (always a struggle), and 4 kids / husband have suffered also. Physical and mental health play off one another, as if I'm on the couch watching it all happen.. All is too loud! I ache around crowds, I react in a neurotic, defensive, too loud myself, try too hard w/people (they don't understand it takes that determination to be around people), drive very little, and jump thru my roof with Mt startle response, and overly everything... It's my illnesses and myself shadows them.

March, 20 2016 at 6:31 am

I'm surprised no one has mentioned autism or sensory processing disorder as causes of this problem. Of course, in those conditions other senses are problematic, too. Lights, tastes, smells. My children have high-functioning autism, but they don't seem to suffer as much as I do from noise overload. It was a big problem when I was a child, but I seemed to grow out of it. BUT it is back with a vengeance now in middle age. For me, the issue is with competing noises coming from different directions. If I can hear two conversations going on at once, or one conversation plus a tv on...rage and fear. Sometimes I have to leave the room and cower on the floor.

March, 7 2016 at 2:55 am

And I simply loathe people shaking legs. It seems to give them concentration, but it takes away mine. I try to block my peripheral vision with my hand. I hate strong odours as well, whether good or bad. I hate someone intermittently touching me as well, although I dont have sensitivity to bright lights. I think 'Sensory sensitivity' is the main issue, and noise sensitivity is just a subset.

March, 7 2016 at 2:50 am

I am from India where the problem is even worse. I have lived in three different places in the last four years. In one place, even though I was in a suburban area where the traffic is quite low, each vehicle horn used to drive me crazy. Plus there was loud music from neighbours etc. In India, the distance between houses is quite small. You can even hear normal volume TV from the other house.
The second place was in an apartment complex, where somehow furniture was being moved every two minutes everyday from morning to night. In my third place, somehow construction work goes on all day, and my place has a common wall with that place.
So, somehow I am resigned to fate. I dont know whether the problem is with me, or I just end up being in noisy places. The problem started when I was around 14 years old. My noise sensitivity is quite selective. I dont mind continuous noises. It is only the intermittent ones which I loathe. And one more important fact is that I am still a student. Studying is so much more difficult when you have noise sensitivity. You feel you can learn so much more if you just didnt have this sensitivity.
Earplugs help in a closed room, but then you cant get fresh air to breathe. I do have some apps for white noise which help a lot. I have a speaker and white noise keeps playing almost continuously.
And no research would happen on this issue, as people dont die from it like cancer. You just have to wait for a slow and painful natural death. Infact I imagine the moment I am going to die. Maybe when Im old, I get worked up on some noise, and get a heart attack!

February, 28 2016 at 1:52 am

It's very helpful reading other's experinces. Since last evening and now the last two hours my neighbors idling of their old, horribly loud vehices, maybe the one is diesel with a bad muffler on top of it, has driven me to the point where I wanted to get in my car at 10pm and just escape. It's like I live in a muffler repair shop! My sensitivity to noise is nothing new, the sound of a loved one's chewing, I dreaded when we had tortilla chips, ruined or contributed to the end of at least a few relationships. But, this was my most severe reaction, I looked like the woman's image in this article covering her ears. I even turned off the furnace because that sounded like a rocket preparing for lift off. I've had clusters of mini migraines the last few days and incredible life stressors, but knowing the likely causes doesn't help when I'm doing my best not to open my door or window to shout at my neighbors to shut their ....... cars off. I am out of my silicone ear plugs, in their place I crammed cotton balls in my ears and covered my head with a pillow. I also take an anti anxiety med as needed during times like this. So, I'm exhausted with minimal sleep and don't want to leave my house, so I want to cancel my plans with friends to attend the potentially loud and triggering experience of a film festival. If I don't attend, that leads to feelings of isolation or I do go and risk reacting to something in a way I then regret. Again, experiences like that, have also led to the demise of a relationship. My noise sensitivities can certainly wreck havoc in my attempts to have a fulfilling quality of life. Having understanding friends helps and finding others who are highly sensitive offers that mutually shared living experience that helps to know we are not alone in this.

February, 15 2016 at 3:41 pm

I don't suffer from anything like anxiety or ptsd, or as I am aware of. I'm a healthy 16 year old girl. I've only experienced the noise sensitivity twice, and I just experienced it about 20 minutes ago. I can't explain it but I'll try. The first time I didn't know what was going on I had woken up from a nap and someone was in the kitchen and I'm in my room and there just doing regular things, making food, walking around. And every noise that came with them doing that made me so uncomfortable, I felt like my body was aching because the sound was too much and made me overwhelmed and I would just beg quietly for the noise to stop and I would cry hysterically, this time was worse and that's why I looked it up. It was the same experience but everything was heightened, the noise, the pain, I couldn't sit still, and it wasn't just the noise in the kitchen anymore it was someone shutting a door, just a footstep noise made me want to rip my ears off, I felt like I was hearing every little thing that was going on and I couldn't do anything about it, I'm just sitting in my bed crying and hurting and I can't make it stop, I literally felt like I had no escape. And now I'm fine, not completely when I think about how painful it was I cry, but the noises don't bother me right now, there just everyday noises I deal with, but 20 minutes ago those same noises had me feeling like I was going to explode.

Meowza Gal
February, 13 2016 at 7:26 am

Between work with printers printing and phones ringing and 7 different conversations going on at once around me, loud tv's and radios everywhere I go, people who talk much louder than they need to, kids screaming and squalling, dogs barking, loud cell phone conversations and just about anything else noise related many times I am to the point of screaming and throwing things. I suffer from major depression and anxiety and noise just makes my symptoms worse. I get so mad because I have to up my med to deal with people who can't just shut up, talk quieter, or keep their kids and dogs quiet. I've installed some white noise apps on my phone so when work noise gets to me I will try them to help drown out some of the senseless noise and curb my nerve overload!! Good luck and wish all of you the best!!

February, 13 2016 at 3:33 am

Lately my ears are sensitive to noise.... And the ironic part is that I am a teacher:( Makes me go crazy to teach nearly 70 screaming children in a small room. I like teaching but I can't withstand the noise... Can somebody be generous enough to please give me effective tips how to cope with this??

February, 12 2016 at 1:35 am

Im experiencing a different type of problem...I hold good grades in my studies.But im very much(intense) allergic to classmates came to know my they keep on making noises like tapping the benches,clapping hands i made a complain to my Head mistress.she warned those fellows and i thought i was out of the problem.but some days later they continued to make noise not frequently but for a while.they know that im allergic to noise.they pretended they make noise not to distrub im desperately need a help to resist the noise either by doing mental exercises or some noise cancelling machine..please save me and my life..

Joe Mama
February, 9 2016 at 11:23 am

DOG BARKING makes me fucking crazy! Id like to kill that barking little bastard (and the owner too) if I thought I could get away with it.

AuBurney Tuckerson
February, 1 2016 at 4:42 am

I can't stand loud noises! screaming, people dropping books, my little brother and younger cousins talking too loud, or when someone's clanging or slamming things, or brass instruments at high notes and drums. It just tortures me! I was taken to professionals, and they say my ears are perfectly fine. My mother says it's all in my head, but the noises still torture me. I have to wear earplugs where ever i go, and it's going to need torture if i ever went to school without them! Life's become torture, and it gets me depressed to the point where I'm crying and wishing to go deaf. i don't know what to do! Please, i need help!

January, 31 2016 at 7:25 pm

I've always been able to hear high frequencies, like the older televisions with the big backs on them. They hum even on mute. Floresant (sic) lights also can be a pain because they hum too. On the bright side, the new tvs don't hum and we're switching the bulbs to LED so those problems are gone.
If the smoke alarm goes off (usually when dad burns something), I drop to the nearest chair or just sit on the floor, cover my ears, and make some moaning sound to try and cancel it out. I've also discovered that movie theaters can trigger anxiety attacks because of the noise.
I don't have a neurological disorder, but PTSD so certain noises are difficult to cope with and can trigger a panic attack. I'm sorry that so many have to deal with this, but I am glad that I am not alone.

January, 30 2016 at 2:34 pm

I was recently a guest at a special birthday celebration. My hosts offered dinner at a restaurant, then a live music performance in a club. The music was an electric guitar - amplified. The volume and frequency went through me like an electric current. After the first set, a drummer joined and the noise which had made me anxious and which was painful drove me out. I had to leave abruptly. I felt mortified that I had rejected my hosts' generosity. All I could do was send apologies by text. I know they will understand.
I just came back from business travel. I noticed that everywhere in the hotel: in the lobby, in the restaurant, even in the men's room - there was background music. It was quite loud, and with a lot of drum beats. It meant that any conversation had to compete. I asked the management to turn down/turn off the music. They stated that they couldn't. Nonsense. I offered to wager that if they shut if off for 24 hours, I'd pay them a dollar for each customer who specifically asked that they provide music. I bet I wouldn't pay much, if anything.
People are so accustomed to noise pollution - why? are we afraid to be alone with our thoughts in a quiet environment? Are we using music/ noise as a drug to distract us, the way we use caffeine to stimulate ourselves, or alcohol? Is it an addiction?
Is there any organization I can support to reduce manmade noise in public places? Please help!

January, 28 2016 at 3:54 am

Since I was a kid, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and eating with metal utensils and silverware are horrible. I used to play an instrument when I was younger and always had to wear musician-type earplugs when performing. I cant go to concerts or the cinema because it's very painful. I sometimes have to wear the earplugs at public places or school because people talk to loudly. I am pretty sure I don't have hyperacusis because it's not too unbearable. I can also hear way better than most of the people I know. But I don't hear electricity or any of that sort. ( The walls in my house are made of cement. ) I don't fear sound or get annoyed by it. Both my grandfather and my dad (they aren't related) are deaf. My grandmother has to yell at him so he can hear her and I hate it. He screams all the time when he talks and refuses to use hearing aids because they "don't work". My dad has lost some of his hearing in one ear and also talks loudly, but not as loud as my grandfather. Does anyone know what I have?

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