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Extreme sensitivity to sound

Hey, do any of you suffer from extreme sensitivity to sound? I cannot handle it.
Phones ringing, any sound while I'm trying to concentrate, dogs, screaming children, traffic, etc etc.
I seem to be much more sensitive than most people around me are.
29 Responses
585414 tn?1288941302
Yes but it has aspects of ocd with me at times as well. I have an extreme reaction to sounds just as you described (though now aspects of it may be neurological, they are studying that) but if a person is sniffing or coughing I have an extreme reaction to that but part of that may be some phobia of germs that has aspects of ocd. Also sounds that other people would ignore distress me such as people whispering in a library or museum as it sounds like a hissing sound to me. I am aware of it but I can't really change it but I do know there are some aspects of rationality to it as once I got the flu shot and H1N1 flu shot last year I had less of this feeling when someone coughed but I know part of it was not rational all the same.
952564 tn?1268368647
I really cannot stand repetative noises. I also don't like ringing phones, but it causes me anxiety. Funny thing I answer a phone for my job. But anything that is beeping, sirens, sudden noises or loud noises, they all bother me. I try not to let them bother me too much. But I hate beeping especially. Or scratching. Or something that is sort and repetative. I'd actually been thinking abou this recently.

I also do not like blinking light. Anything from emergency lights (like cop cars, construction signs,) all the way down to strobe lights even in a movie. I mean, they don't just bother me, they make me feel like I'm freaking out. I actually have to close my eyes and look away. I hate blinking. Strobe lights bother me the most though.
574118 tn?1305135284
i can't stand loud noises neither strong light. I begin to develop tinitus in my left ear. I suppose this has nothing to do with BP, rather any person having nerve problems or anxiety will feel this way.

Still you are very fortunate as you live in the USA  or at least not in egypt, have you seen egyptian movies or indian ones, the traffic how is it the streets so crowded you wouldn't believe it unless you watch it. it's hell
1 Comments
I'm light sensitive too, I keep colored lights in my apartment like red lights. It helps a lot.
242912 tn?1402543492
adel_ezz...oh God, I can just imagine!  That DOES sound like hell!  You poor thing!

I can't tolerate repetitive or loud noise, either.  I'm forced to listen to dogs barking often and all day too and it drives me insane.  It's so bad I have to put in ear plugs because the noise creeps it's way into my nerves...it's not something I can just ignore.  My phone ringer is on so low I usually don't hear it.  My neighbor has a Harley and when he starts it up theres a loud "crack" and I jump and scream every time!  

Xila....for a short time we had a neighbor with a truck with one of those back-up alert beeping things...BEEP BEEP BEEP...every single night and he could never park right the first time so over and over.  I know what you mean about any type of strobe.  You can literally feel it inside of you and yes, it makes me feel like I'll freak out.  Not a single person in my family understands any of this.  

Oh, what about the horrible vibration of those bass speakers in a car or even a powerful house stereo?  I have a neighbor on the street Behind me and all I hear is the Boom Boom of the bass deep in my chest which makes me feel sick.  My husband can't hear it.
Avatar universal
yep, i am the exact way, certain noises will change my mood instantly.  For example, when i hear the leaf blower all the sudden i get this extreme irritability and anger or the sound of someone chewing will gross me out or other people babies crying drives me nuts.
1 Comments
Hearing people chew, whether it is food or gum, is annoying enough to me that it'll often cause nasty mood swings for me, but it is actually the sound of people whispering that is the worst for me.  The few, low noises that come from people who are whispering quite frequently is physically painful to me, where whereas being around a lot of noise, like a loud bar or a concert doesn't affect me in any way.  I've always just attributed this to being just another one of those "weird Fibromyalgia things".  Now I'm curious though.  Does this happen to anyone else?
Avatar universal
For sure! Drives me nuts! the extreme anger and irritability gets to me so much that I will at some stage ask the person when they will be done

Iladvocate - I have the germ thing - but in the sense that I try not to breathe if I'm in a toilet that someone has been in before me!
yuck!

Funny that you all mention lights too, at night I have to drive with one of my hands blocking out the oncoming lights. Can't stand it. It's a violation!

Whitecat - I also hate lawnmowers and leaf blowers, I feel like the person causing all the noise is 'attacking my space/peace', and they always seem to take too long before they eventually finish up!
I quit one of the jobs I had due to the phone ringing too much!

Xila - if someone gives me a fright by making a big noise, they are usually asking for trouble!
I tell people not to do this, but they take it lightly and do it again to have a laugh. meanwhile, it really stresses me out. I don't think most people understand how sensitive we are to our environment and stress levels, and all the little things that add up through the day.

In general I'm in a good mood in the morning, and then well grumpy in the evening!


Jade - earplugs - are SO awesome - I always have a set in my handbag. Always. I'm really glad that construction truck has left your area, but how are we going to get that guy off his Harley - and what's the point of all that noise anyway - its prehistoric - shouldn't a bike that is 'brilliantly engineered' and of good quality, have a smooth, silent eco-friendly motor?

interesting!
242912 tn?1402543492
About the Harley...are ya kiddin'?  Lol...he took the mufflers off to make it LOUDER!  I believe that's the point of a Harley.  It's my Next Door neighbor and actually he's really respectful about it.  Pushes the bike out to the street first.  I discovered ear plugs 30yrs ago.  Saved my sleep and my sanity!

Back in 07 I had just quit smoking for the first time and my neighbor across the street decides to cover all the cement blocks and the cement block walls with Marble!  Do you know how loud cutting marble with a BUZZ SAW sounds?  For 4 solid months morning 'til night!  Thought I would truly lose my mind!  Earplugs didn't even cut the sound completely out.  
1255530 tn?1269867619
somedays I am really sensitive. I think Its during extreme mania now that I have a better picture on my illness and know what mood is what.
Avatar universal
oh my goodness! No!
I hope the marble was at least worth it!

242912 tn?1402543492
No it wasn't worth it.  It was a strange thing to do and neighbors house looks ridiculous!
Avatar universal
I am very sensitive to the loudness of sound but I have demonstrated time and time again I have almost superhuman hearing at the same time.  I have to actually hold my hands over my ears when things like an ambulance or firetruck or police car zooms by and has it's siren on otherwise it's very painful.
952564 tn?1268368647
I actually think I'm losing my hearing. If there is a lot of sound going on, I can't understand what people are saying to me. Or if someone turns around and is talking away from me, I have a terrible time understanding what they say. Or if someone starts talking in a low voice, I just can't hear what they say. It drives my husband crazy because I say "what?" a lot. :(

But, yes, anything loud like a leaf blower, or hammering nails, that all bothers me. I try to keep it in. When I was in college I was a part time custodian and had to vaccum with this thing youa carry on your back. It was really, really loud whirring right by my head for 4 hours 7 days a week. :(
Avatar universal
The thing where you can't tell what is going on due to too many sounds, sounds like sensory overload or a lack of concentration, I have this happen a lot for whatever reason, even if it's quiet background noises and the person is talking at a volume well above everything else.
Avatar universal
LOL Jade!
I suppose it WOULD look ridiculous!

Hi Paranoid - yes I also close my ears as the noise GRATES me.
Noise...
It's similar to certain insects - for the life of me I don't know why they are around!

Hey Xilla, paranoid might be right about sensory overload, if there is too much going on I get very flustered too

Ok so now at least I know I'm 'normal'!
242912 tn?1402543492
Normal.  Are we?  Are we?  Within this forum, maybe, lol.  I don't meet other people like me *out there.*

Deepie, I keep a set of earplugs in my bag too, but you know why?  You never know when you might end up in the ER and admitted to the hospital.  That's the main reason these days because I don't leave the house much anymore.  Before I was married, had a spare if I should forget to bring them for an overnight at boyfriends house OR end up at a movie that's way too loud.  

My next door neighbor got a new dog.  I love dogs...but the barking...hate that :(
1321252 tn?1276359021
* out there* people are afraid to show their true selves. there is no normal anyway.

i'm sensitive to sounds/get very irritable when I'm trying to concentrate. i've  recently been diagnosed with mood disorder. so, very interesting to see if i'm more sensitive when mood has changed or about to change.

so far there's little that my brain does that's consistent-lol my therapist jokes that it's good i like to be unique because i have no choice.  
1 Comments
Im sensitive to sounds and get very irritable when Im trying to concentrate. I didnt have  a problem with it. I didnt think it was a disorder, how is being sensitive a disorder, doesnt it just mean you can perceive things more acutely?  I bring noise blocking headphones with me everywhere and sometimes I wear them and dont listen to music, just to drown out the sound. It helps me focus and relax.
242912 tn?1402543492
Oh, I know what you mean, Trish.  I don't show my true self *out there*  and most definitely try to get out of *there* if my true self is about to show with a panic attack, lol.

I like the *Unique* title.  We are consistant though.  Consistantly inconsistant :)  
Avatar universal
Ha ha, LoL!  Both of you!  Brilliant and true!

And we are far more interesting than the rest of the
'trying to seem as near  to normal as possible' bunch out there.

We are just the more expressive, soul searching types!

... Consistantly inconsistant!
1255505 tn?1272819115
I (and my niece who's both fortunately and unfortunately taking after me) are both very sensitive to sensory input...sight, touch, smell, and especially sound. I can relate to the flashing light thing too...and even just bright light.

Loud music (ever been to TGI Fridays...ugh), TVs, incessant chatter, etc. all push me over the edge. I rarely have the TV or radio on at home. When I get into another's car, radio is always way too loud for me...especially talk radio...and the first thing I do is request that it be turned down or off. Silence is golden.

Ironically, when I'm seeking out music, like a concert, it doesn't bother me. The crowds of people do though. Also the constant background noise of the city center where I live doesn't seem to bother me. Still, I prefer the silence (except the sound of wind in the trees, water, and animals) of the woods/country; it's soothing.
1344677 tn?1278344164
I thought I was all alone in this.  Sounds really bring out the bad in me.  Being in a room with a lot of people chattering drives me crazy.  I can't seem to hear right lately so all sounds are too much for me.  They're neighbors who like to play their music loud on the base. My room is even shaking.  I just marched myself over there and told them they had to turn it down. It's gotten better.   I can't concentrate unless I'm in complete silence.  I have to focus so hard on everything I do. As someone said before constant noise drives me up the wall to anger.  Sometimes I have rages.  I live in silence if I can.  I don't go anywhere where there are crowds. The malls are useless.  I have no social life.  I'm 58 and I'm going to die an old maid.  I don't want any relationships because I don't want to explain myself.  Sorry I could keep going.

Thanks for listening.
Avatar universal
Seph - I'm the same - if I'm choosing the music, (if I'm in the mood for music), then it's fine!  Funny!
Yes, and places like TGI and others don't always have the best taste in music!
I also HATE talk radio - endless blah blah blaaaaaa.
Again - unless I have tuned in specifically for a certain show.
Trees, water and birds, anytime!

Vickie - I also have rages when the irritation...
(just as I typed that - a neighbour's vacuum cleaner started up... sigh. Get the cat off my lap, close the door, try to get cat back on my lap again. Ahh, doors!)
..when the irritation is continuous. Its like my ears are being violated! And it's not fair!
:-(. I didn't order that noise!

Who thinks you are an old maid Vickie? Yourself?
No, you are an independent woman, living your life exactly as you want it. Or maybe as possible to how you want it.
When you are alone, you can control so much around you. It's all your choice, at anytime, less worries, no disagreements, no need to explain yourself, no having to do what others want you to do, no noise, no mess, sleep whenever you need to. Just trying to relax. You're free.
And staying home and watching a DVD is far less expensive than going to a mall and watching a movie anyway.
There are pros to the 'cons'.
Whenever you feel lonely - try to imagine what you WOULDN'T like about being in a relationship. That should fix it.

Of course I'm not saying avoid relationships - just don't worry about what other people think, or of what society expects from us.
It's your life, live it the way you want to live it.
I find that I have to keep my stress levels right down there, other wise I'm all over the place about the smallest things.
1344677 tn?1278344164
Thank you so much!  Just yesterday I was talking to someone about relationships and I did think of the positive and negatives.  The last relationship was okay for a year than it got possessive and would get mad if I didn't agree with him or go with him every weekend on the harley.  Always about Harley.  That's the thing with me now I don't like anyone tell me how to do something especially a man.  I just need a friend.  I don't have one any more except my mom, dad and my son. No one really understands my illness and when I tell someone that don't want to be friends.  

I took mom to the hospital yesterday to get tests.  The sounds in the hospital was so irritating!  I was having a bad day before the day started. I wasn't feeling good all over.  I have hepatitis as well and it's not doing good.  So the two together are like gang busters.  I had to take a pill to keep myself in the calm.

I think the main think for me now is to find friends that having the same illness to talk to.  Someone that doesn't look at me and say, sure.  They always say you don't look sick.  I'm very lonely and just want to be happy one day

Thank you
Avatar universal
This may be a little late for this post, but I have also noticed a high sensitivity to sound. In fact I noticed that some sounds can actually do the opposite of making me more angry. I have played around with various sounds, and I realized that certain music or sounds actually bring out the best in me. For instance, the sound of waves crashing on the shore calms me down. Basically natural sounds, or certain music with this energy to it makes me feel great. I really don't know why one song sounds better then another, or why it has the effect it has, but I am more sensitive to different pitches or different frequencies of sound. I actually listen to a ton of music. Eventually some songs I enjoy are worn out while I listen to them, and they cause irritation. However, the only way I know of to fix that dilemma is to buy new music or rotate the songs I listen to. I'm BP too, and I guess I might have a different kind of self-awareness then most people with the disorder. I hope this helps. Try changing your diet to. I became vegetarian when I started becoming more aware of the way my body responded to the disorder. I am currently trying to cut all animal products to see if I notice more increased changes in my Bipolar for the better.
Avatar universal
This may be a little late for this post, but I have also noticed a high sensitivity to sound. In fact I noticed that some sounds can actually do the opposite of making me more angry. I have played around with various sounds, and I realized that certain music or sounds actually bring out the best in me. For instance, the sound of waves crashing on the shore calms me down. Basically natural sounds, or certain music with this energy to it makes me feel great. I really don't know why one song sounds better then another, or why it has the effect it has, but I am more sensitive to different pitches or different frequencies of sound. I actually listen to a ton of music. Eventually some songs I enjoy are worn out while I listen to them, and they cause irritation. However, the only way I know of to fix that dilemma is to buy new music or rotate the songs I listen to. I'm BP too, and I guess I might have a different kind of self-awareness then most people with the disorder. I hope this helps. Try changing your diet to. I became vegetarian when I started becoming more aware of the way my body responded to the disorder. I am currently trying to cut all animal products to see if I notice more increased changes in my Bipolar for the better.
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