Hyperacusis -embarrassed in public

Hi all,

I am new to this group, first time posting but have been finding other posts helpful. Like many others here I struggle very much with both Tinnitus and Hyperacusis and have become very self conscious about my sometimes bizarre reactions to uncomfortable noise in public. Although I am aware that many people are often too busy with there own lives to notice, I sometimes often feel jumpy and very embarrassed that people may notice the many avoidance techniques that I have developed. This is now making me want to avoid going out as well as avoiding noise discomfort , does anyone else experience this or maybe offer any advice. Thank you!

6 Replies

  • HI Seeshore22,

    You might find my post: Hyperacusis, As I see it helpful. Please click on the link below. I have written an article titled: Tinnitus, A Personal View. It covers causes of tinnitus and hyperacusis, treatment and coping methods. If you would like a copy, please send me your email address in Private messenger, please don't post it in the forum.

    All the best



  • Thank you very much, I will have a read :-)

  • hi and i'm sure your will find helpful comments and support here - I have just read michaelee's post which is very helpful and some useful suggestions to potentially help. This T stuff is so very individual though and not easy to fine it down to what mechanisms will work best for each person... fingers in ears as the ambulance goes past works for me but its the 'trying not to be afraid' of noise which is the difficult - brain tells me its going to hurt and irritate so instant protection works for me! I'm used to odd looks as I take the defensive actions necessary - we all have to get on with life albeit its noisy out there....

  • Thank you Seilman, yes ear plugs and noise cancellation headphones have become my go to help but then they can make matters worse. Although still getting used to wearing the headphones in public and conscious about offending people even though it helps at the time. We all find ways to try and enjoy life.

  • Hi seashore22,

    I too can relate to your self conscious issues as I am deaf in my left and tinnitus in my right ear. I struggle to hear in groups of people, background noises and so on. I developed a 'turn the conversation around' tactic so I could contribute to a conversation. People would say something to me and I would innocently ignore them due to not hearing. They must think I'm so ignorant.

    Now, if you were on crutches, your friends, work colleagues etc would see that you have an inability to perform certain tasks and would therefore understand your situation.

    A few weeks ago my tinnitus started and I immediately told everyone I talk to of my problems with hearing. Whatever situation I find myself in where listening and talking is involved, I am upfront with my hearing difficulties. I still joke and tell them I'm not ignoring them on purpose and if I misheard something to shout or tap me on the shoulder. I now find that people that matter to me are sympathetic and understand my problem, they adapt to helo me and even my work colleagues joke with me now and I feel part of tge group as a consequence.

    I am going on a cruise soon and there will be times when I will ugnore someone or guess what people are saying. However, I take the view that it's not my fault and if I want to engage with someone then I'll be upfront with them.

    Don't let this impairment get the better of you, tell the people that matter what you require to engage and you will find that these people will adapt to your needs without a second thought.

  • Thank you Gdjtam, sorry to hear of your difficulty but that's a good way of dealing with it. I found that initially when tinnitus started (my hearing loss is slight) I would sometimes find it difficult to maintain a conversation due to the tinnitus and other things I would hear fine which led to some friends and work colleagues saying I had selective hearing. Whereas now due to Hyperacusis and Tinnitus their voices are too loud and background noises too distracting to be able to concentrate.

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