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March 12, 2017

Auditory hypersenzitivity

We are going to talk about auditory hypersensitivity today. That’s another disorder from our group of sensory processing disorders. It affects how our brain process sound and has nothing to do with the quality of hearing as such. Simply put, it causes that we overreact to auditory stimuli.

Let's look at the symptoms we may exhibit when we suffer from this condition.

The main symptom is the fact we are oversensitive to sound. It causes us significant distress because every minor sound can hurt our ears. We avoid loud places, concerts, cinemas or parties because we are simply unable to stand all that noise. We can be easily distracted by sounds which others don’t even notice, like humming of lights, household appliance or clocks ticking. They are often the cause of our difficulties with concentration. Sudden loud sounds can scare, hurt or distracts us. Certain sounds, like dog barking, a flushing toilet or a vacuum cleaner can make us even more fearful, especially when we are still at our young age. We can have troubles watching TV together with others because it’s simply too loud for us. We often cover our ears because of all that noise around. Like children, we can even cry or scream when a sudden, unexpected loud noise appears.

All these signs imply that we may have auditory hypersensitivity. If we experience most of the symptoms mentioned above then it’s quite likely we are suffering from this condition. There are however some strategies how to cope with the loud world around us. We can use earplugs whenever we want. We can also wear headphones and listen to music to block out noise from the environment.

I myself have auditory hypersensitivity. I can’t stand certain noises like dog barking or when somebody walks on his heels without shoes. I also constantly perceive clocks ticking, the sound of household appliances or other sounds from the outside. It can be quite distressing a lot of times to hear such an amount of things at once, especially when I'm in the classroom. However, I’m living with this condition my whole life, so it became a part of me. I wear earplugs when I need to reduce the noise or I cover my ears whenever I hear a noise which I can’t stand. I somehow learnt how to cope with that over the 17 years of having to live with that. Never hesitate to wear earplugs or headphones anywhere if you are auditory hypersensitive. You have always the right to do so.

Check the video below which simulates what it feels like to be hypersensitive to sound. It’s quite accurate. Moreover, it can make you better understand the world of people who have this disorder.

Have you recognized some of the symptoms in yourself? Do you know somebody affected by this condition? Do you want to ask some questions? Write us in the comment section below. We are here for you again!

This video speaks about autistic children with auditory hypersensitivity. However, even though it is most common in autistic people, anyone can struggle with this condition.

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