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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 

I have always thought I was crazy for being so super sensitive to peoples eting, breathing, nail biting or any mouth sound, and some other sounds like when my mum knits. It dose my head in. I usualy manage to control my behavior, and if I do anything I usually walk out of the room. But on a rear ocation I get realy angry and yell at people for making the sounds they are making. (it was wors when I was a teenager, but now I'm mor rational and know it is my problem, and not everyone elses.)

I developed a few habits when people eat around me, one is that I know it's better if I eat as well. I always have chewing gum with me, I hate it when others chew chewing gums but when I do it, I manage to block out some soft sounds from others. When I'm watching movies with friends I often put a finger in the ear closed to the person eating, sometimes I have it in both ears if there is a subtitle. (the funny thing is that they don't seem to notice that I do this), I always have music on trains and buses.

Yesterday I got angry at someone that did not want to close there mouth when he ate, so I walked of, saying that I thought his eating was disgusting (he is one of the worst eaters I know of, the sounds is so extreme, I don't know how he manages to make so much more noise than anyone else, and everyone else make a lot of noise, but him... I hope for your sake that you don't ever find yourself in a restaurant or something where he is. He is a lovely person, but my god can he make some noise). Anyway I felt bad after this, because he has a bit of problems eating, and here I am saying he eats in a disgusting way. That is why I started to search the Internet to see if there where anything similar out there. And I came across an article that was like reading about me. It freeked me out a bit. But it did me good. I'm 25 now, and I have been like this since I was about 5. I remember yelling at my little brother when I was 7 telling him to shut his mouth when he chewed, he was 2 at the time..

If anyone has any advice please let me know. If there is any treatment that is worth trying out, I will be more than willing to check it out. I would like to enjoy a day at the cinema, or watch a movie with my mum or friends without thinking about the horrible sounds they make.


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Posts: 342
Reply with quote  #2 
Hey there.   I have the same problem and have had since age 12.  I'm 37 now.  You are certainly not alone in this.

My tips: 

1. I think it's important before you can move on to learn to accept yourself for who you are including having this problem.  It is a part of us, whether we like it or not.  Realize that other people eating, breathing, etc... is not the issue... it's not their fault.  The issue is us, and how we react to those sounds.  I'm not saying that it is out fault, that we are "crazy" or anything like that.  I firmly believe that something is off in our brains that causes us to interpret the sounds and react in a different way than others.   I always thought I was crazy until I realized I was not alone.

2.  Try not to focus on the sound but rather how you react to the sound.  I know that sounds impossible, but just realize that you will hear those sounds on a daily basis whether you want to or not.  You need to learn how to change the way you respond to the sounds.  This is hard to do, but no impossible.  Look into CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy).  It can teach you to analyze the situation (such as being at the movies and hearing popcorn munchers) and put things into perspective (such as you will hear popcorn munching and it may tick you off, but you'll live). 

I've been working on this for over a year now and it's really difficult, time consuming, and requires patience.... but, I've learned to enjoy things again such as going to the movies.  I still hear the sounds, and still get ticked off, but I can calm myself down better and remain in the situation rather than run from it.

3.  Get plenty of rest.   I know for me personally if I am well rested I can manage this much easier than if I'm tired and already moody.  I also find having a hobby (mine is gardening) is very rewarding and relaxing to my body and mind.  I think it's important to take time for yourself no matter what you do with that time.  

4.  Avoid earplugs, iPods, or other means to block out all sound.  I wore my iPod religiously to cover up the sounds I hated.  I love music, but found I was only using it as a mask for the problem and wasn't using it because I actually 'wanted' to listen to music.  If you practice CBT, you must expose yourself to the sounds in order to learn from your reaction.  Plus, the more you avoid the sounds you dislike, the more you fear being around them (at least in my case).  For me, the fear was horrible.  Now, I face the sounds head on... realizing that yes, they will cause me distress, but I will survive the situation and move on.  I will NOT let this condition rule my life. 

5.  Be happy.  I know it sucks having this condition but being negative or losing hope will not make it better.  It will make it worse.  I try to find a positive in every negative.  It's hard to do but I find it helps.

Hope this helps a little. 



Posts: 222
Reply with quote  #3 
You can try the use of bilateral broad band signal generators, used commonly for tinnitus or hyperacusis treatment.

People with 4S often find help with those devices.  You can find a local audiologist and ask for help with trying out a pair.

The two most common companies are Amplisound and General Hearing Instruments.  Your local audiologist can help you discover more about these instruments and order them for you.

Wearing these units can help mask out the annoying trigger sounds.  This works well for many people, give it a try.


Marsha Johnson

Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #4 

Thank you both for responding, I always thought I would be alone feeling like this. I find it easier knowing that there is others as well. 

I do try to expose myself to sounds, like going to the cinema, and eating with friends and family, it works out ok, most of the time I manage to be in control of my emotions, it’s more when I’m tired that I react. But I’m not ready for leaving my ipod at home when I’m on a bus or a train yet. But maybe I should try.

Yet again thank you

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