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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi, (and sorry in advance for this long story)
I'm new here. I found this site while researching this condition. I have had a noise sensitivity or intolerance most of my life, I'm about to turn 40 and I can't believe it's taken me this long to find out what's wrong and try to remedy it.

Most of my day I feel powerless, violated, and even trapped because of external noise. The more the noise occurs the more I began filling with rage and panic. I do no like feeling that way. I'm not a confrontational or violent person, but when my neighbors consistently subject me to their noises I feel anger, hate and like I will do anything to make it stop.

I have lived in many homes/environments throughout my adult life and I have experienced a plethera of offesive noises. Some I can learn to deal with over time, some drive me to the pits of hell (in my mind). Often I will immediately try to rectify the noise, whether it be confronting the noise maker or in worse case scenerios calling the police to deal with it. I do not enjoy confrontation. I am already in an unhelpful mindset going into it, as i think "Why would anyone be so loud? Don't they know it's bothering people around them?" But I've come to realize that there are two type of noise makers...The ones that are accomodating enough to stop when told it's an issue and the jerks that don't care, even after being told it's upseting others. The thing these two have in common...neither type has the awareness that they are effecting other people. Which seems to be the case for most people I'm come in contact with. This frustrates me beyond words, because I make every effort to prevent my noise from bothering others. I wear headphones, I turn my music town when I drive through residential areas, I'll even put the dishes away gently to avoid the clanking sound that can occur. So to me it's hard to understand why everyone else is so brazenly loud. I guess I make the effort because I know the torment it can cause on those like me. I just wish others had this this knowledge.

I am most bothered by low level, deep noises. Bass music, car engines (revving and idling), construction, power tools and lawn equiptment, all are big triggers of mine. But I am also bothered by a normal conversation, tapping or any other percussion, loud chewing, barking, and other minor noises that I hear unexpectedly. The problem with the low level noises is I can literally feel them, they have a physical effect on me. I can feel the vibration of the noise and If it doesn't promptly end, then I become stressed and enraged. I feel violated and helpless. I'm so angry that someone else has the ability to pysically effect my body and mind and I am powerless to stop it.

Then there are the distracting noises. Noises that compete with sounds I am trying to focus on. Examples: Talkers at a movie theatre, Talking while I'm watching TV, and just every day random noises that pull my focus from whatever I might be working on. I lack the ability to filter out most noises. I don't know how many times I've been told to just "tune it out", but I am unable to. I lose focus on whatever i am doing and have to put my life on pause until the noise ends. It's dibilitating to live like this. The best i can figure is when there are competing noises my brain gets overstimulated making it hard to function.

I have a few tools I've learned over the course of my life to deal with noise, but they are just stopgaps. They are temporary and most often not very effective. One thing is I found that if i am expecting the noise to come than i am mentally prepared to handle it. Noises that just pop up and you have no idea when they will end i do not handle well. The second thing i've tried is white noise. I have a loud box fan i use to minimize or muffle the noises around me so i can focus on one thing at a time, or just to sleep. Third and my last resort tool is Bose Noise Canceling Headphones. When I'm at my witts end and I can't take it anymore, I put those on and shut the whole world out. It allows me to decompress and allow my anxiety to drop down to normal levels. But none of it's perfect, even if i'm aware of a future noise, it still can end up bothering me if it goes on too long. White noise is good, but I don't carry my box fan everywhere i go. And the headphones only work with a few of my components and they aren't the most comfortable thing to relax in. Plus they make me feel tethered and trapped, like I'm in a bubble.

My family and friends, try as they may, do not understand what i go through. And much to my frustration, many of them have actually dismissed my agony because either they don't hear what i'm hearing, or they do but it doesn't bother them. It's hurtful because you expect those who love you to sympathize with you. It shouldn't matter if the noise bothers them or not, it should matter that the noise is having such a negative impact on someone they care about and they should want to stop it to stop their loved ones pain. But alas i feel alone in this battle and often if falls to me to deal with it. 

But dealing with the issue is not so simple. Confronting the noise maker is often a risk, you never know the response you'll get and in my case it's often dissmissive and rude. The next step is to call the police and file a noise complaint, but even that is not without fault. Police could care less, it's such a minor offence to them, that even i feel bad calling them out to handle it, like i'm wasting their time. And nearly every single time, the noise complaint is never made official, it's just the police telling the neighbor to keep it down, or the police taking so long to get there that the noise is done when they arrive, making me look silly. At that point it's my word againt theirs. 

So I'm at my witts end. Just grasping for any tool that can help me cope.

I recently moved to a new town to live with my boyfriend. I had dealt with noise at my previous home, but it was occasional suburban noise. His home...not so much. We live in a horrible part of town, right next to an apartment complex, who's parking lot faces our kitchen. Everyday it's loud bass music from the cars coming and going, it's engines revving for way too long, power tools being used, it's people walking by with boomboxes cranked up loud, and even the occasional domestic dispute. My boyfriend has lived here for years and learned to ignore it, but I work from home, so i'm here all day exposed like a raw nerve to every noise this neighborhood has to offer and to make it worse, the neighbors are complete jerks who once they found out the noise was upseting me, made it their mission to become even louder. One of them was even harrassing me by pulling up to the front of my house, revving his engine and turning his music uptil i came outside, he'd then laugh and drive off. 

But there is a rainbow that has sprung up. We've found a new house to rent, 15 minutes outside the city, in a quiet neighborhood with cinderblock walls and duel pane windows (awseome soundproofing), we're moving in month, so whenever noise pops up i just keep telling meself "it's not's not forever..." It's not a cure, but i believe it will be more manageable for me. I've also got an appointment with an audiologist who can hopefully help me.

Thank you all for sitting through my long first post. I've found this to be very theraputic and I look forward to getting to know you all, getting tips and advice and finally not feeling so alone.

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Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #2 

Hellataz, thank you for joining this group and for your honesty.

A little bit about this forum; most people who comment here, daily deal with the Hyperacusis condition, as well as Tinnitus and a whole host of different, but somewhat similar, auditory maladies. Some, over time heal a great deal, and some are still finding their way through it all. I am included in the latter.

There are alot of unknowns when it comes to auditory conditions and the symptoms that surround it all. Some well intentioned people will even give simple, streamlined, cookie-cutter answers and offer overly general ways on how to improve our lives. Some of these techniques work...and some are like you say, "temporary fixes & stopgaps" that help us at the moment, but are not long lasting at all.

What you said, that is most interesting to me, is when you described such sounds as moving right through you, or how you can "feel" them right in your body and the sense of being "violated & feeling helpless". There is something indeed mystical about our bodies and how the brain perceives & processes stimulation, vibration and movement around us. This is something that scientists, behavioral analysts and neuro-physiologists don't fully understand (yet they say they do) and why are some people are much, much more susceptible to these deep kind of stimuli, than others.

Since the onset of my Hyperacusis, I align myself much more like you.

I just moved into a new apartment just outside of Los Angeles, up in the rural "quiet" hillside areas, yet when I or my neighbor upstairs turns on the hot water, the internal pipes boom, bang, clank & crash for what seems like hours after the water ceases! To me, it sounds like a kid down the street is sling-shotting a rock directly at my bathroom walls...POW!!!...only to find that when a friend came over to pay me a visit, he remarked how happy I must now feel in my new "super quiet" apartment; living way up there in the stillness of the serene hills! (Oh Geeez, spare me!!!)

Still, I have another good friend who has been so de-sensitized from sound & noise his whole life, he says he can "lay down on the side of a road and sleep in a construction zone"! I marvel at that, but then again, I shouldn't, because that SAME fella, feels very perturbed & greatly offended when the person sitting three tables across from us at the local restaurant, chews, munches & crunches with his mouth just slightly open, where I didn't even catch that right away.

These and so many other odd & peculiar auditory observations, are so very say the least.

Again, welcome friend, and we hope to see you add your thoughts, observations and heart-felt comments throughout the days & weeks to come...and I hope that I can be even a very small & humble morsel of encouragement to you.



Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Hellataz,

Just to say your hyperacusis sounds just like mine. Reading your article l can see the same problems and fears that l deal with every day. Feeling sound vibrations is awful. I have been doing this for the last ten years or so. I hate sitting in some restaurants in summer when their air conditioner systems literally vibrate through my head and body. I have to move out of the vibration zone and all my friends are happily sitting there and can't understand my discomfort. Every day we all have to pretend we are okay to family and friends because they think l am complaining about nothing or l guess attention seeking. There are some very dark days dealing with the panic and anger that no one wants to help fix the problems. Yet it is impossible to find a safe haven in this day and age noise-wise. With low bass noises coming from machinery even new fridges, l was told new enviromental rules means companies use little or no insulation around mechanical parts to fit guidelines. Even expensive makes use cheap standard pumps etc. all made by the same company and they are plastic. Someone said to me that l would have to get used to it because there is no where to live in the world without noise unless l live in a cave. Forget sympathy except from fellow sufferers who can give us strength to get through each day. One day hopefully there will be a cure.

Posts: 142
Reply with quote  #4 
Hi all: a veteran here of Hyperacusis. These posts could have been me over ten years ago. And over ten years I suffered too. I know if you read my former posts, you will see me support TRT as a protocol. It did change my life. I don't know where I would be without it. I put it off. For those who can't do TRT, I know Rob and others have some great ideas. The main thing is to feel that you are doing something about it and not be a victim of this insidious thing. Like many challenges in life, you learn many things from it though I'm sure there are days you can't imagine that. You will get through it but please do consider if you haven't already TRT and other protocols. We're here to support you through this and we love you.
Jane Parks-McKay

Posts: 711
Reply with quote  #5 
Likely janeygirl said, try TRT, it may help you.  It helps me, though the process is very difficult.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you all for your kind words, welcome and advice. I will definitely look into TRT, or anything that can help ease these symptoms and stressers.

Posts: 19
Reply with quote  #7 
good luck. sadly, there really is so little information out there in mainstream western (and alternative) medicine ... TRT helped me a great deal though, I personally feel it's worth a shot
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