Zero tolerance for noise: I am just wondering if... - Headway

Headway
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Zero tolerance for noise

I am just wondering if anyone has any problems with being like ultra sensitive to sounds after their brain injury. It appears like everything i can hear is so loud and i cant zone sounds out to concentrate on just what im needing to. I was told it can be common after an abi to lose that filter in the auditory part of the brain and thats why everything is overwhelming and exhausting just trying to concentrate. I have learnt a few techniques like sitting beside a wall etc to use my environment to absorb sounds. Im just wondering if anyone else has similar problems with busier environments as it is making anything social becoming overwhelming very quickly and i cant sustain it for any length of time before it gets too much and im almost in tears and just drained. Any tips or advice on this would be gladly taken!

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Yes, this is a common problem, luckily there are a range of earplugs on the market to help with this, you just have to try a bit of trial and error to find the best for yourself.

I even used to pretend i was listening to my music with head phones in when i went out, they helped deaden the nose.

My brain has now adjusted most of the time but there are still occasions i cant tolerate.

Janet

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Hahahahahahahah funny, made me chuckle this, i used to do the same, until one day my friend said your earphone cable isn't attached to anything.......lolololol

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Ha ha I do this too when I walk to work alongside a busy and noisy bypass. I like to listen to music but quite often switch it off so I can try to hear the birds in the fields. It helps drown out the traffic a bit.

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I done this for years, but now i've got it into my mind that the earphones are damaging my brain even more - i feel as though the magnets in the earphones are pulling at my balance - amongst other stuff, i don't know why i think this, i just feel it, i've got a terrible habit of falling asleep with earphones in my ear, i'm trying to stop it, as its getting to the stage that i can't sleep without wearing these things - i'm merging with the machine....Transhumanism :)

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Hiya Janeym79

I literally just logged on to HealthUnlocked to ask the exact same thing 😁

I’m really sensitive to noises since my haemorrhage to the point I can’t concentrate on a conversation if there’s another conversation goin on in the same room.

Right now my washing machine is on and the TV and the neighbours are playing music and my fatigue has kicked right in 😑

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Its exhausting, it also makes me really anxious. Just cannot cope with it mentally because its all too much i can hear everything thats going on around me, all at one time and at the same level. Its an overload and my brain just shuts down like its had enough, then i get my words for things wrong, irritable as hell and just frustrated and tired. Its hard to explain to people but when there is alot of sounds or more than one conversation i compare it to someone continuously flicking through the tv channels.......you start getting the drift of whats going on then its changed again. Im thinking earbuds may be a good option but i want the noise filtering ones. If its going to allow me to even sustain even a little longer socially then i am willing to try it. Its better than me withdrawing completely which is what i feel like doing sometimes.

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You’re explaining exactly how I get/feel. Everyone seems to be suggesting earplugs so I’m definitely giving them a try 😁

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As Janet says...…...Earplugs or phones ! I still have an old MP3 player which fits in my pocket & I use to free myself from unwanted noise whilst listening to my favourite music tracks...…..changes my mood instantly.

And for sleeping you could try the wax earplugs which mould to the shape of the ear after warming by manipulating with the fingers ; they keep noise firmly out. Cat x

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i wear them, they block out everything............even my snoring ha ha ha x

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Hello yes I've experienced the same thing even at times I can't stand the TV on I tend to stick to the same places and shops I know where everything but is get what I need and get out before my TBI I was a shoperholic could shop all day no problem now I hate it especially children screaming that hurts my head and ears I wish I could give you advice what to do I'm sorry but your not alone

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Reccently i have started fell walking (not doing big walks or anything yet lol) and i went through the week last week and entered into a cave via stepping stones. About a minute or two later a group of kids on a school trip came in and started screaming to make the cave echo. Literally could not concentrate on how to get out, the noise made my head feel like it was going to explode and i was shattered from it. I was probably one of those kids when i was their age on a trip making echos in the cave and loving it, it made me realise just how much sound affects me, and how antisocial and intolerant i must appear to most people generally when in social settings at all. I have read about ent referrals for specialised noise cancelling aids so i might persue that avenue and see what can be done

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Jane I have the opposite ...This is me in conversation " Was you talking to me..What?" all said in loud voice..had ears syringed still cannot hear properly when chatting so given up I nod and smile and think "What they saying?" went and had ears done still got echo. Seriously any ear problems are a pain in the butt I feel for you and myself xxx Good luck

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YEP

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Hi, I’ve had exactly the same thing past year with post concussion syndrome. Over time it has got better- I’m sure you’ve heard of it but if not googleneuroplasticity It’s about giving exposure to your brain to be able to start to cope with noises again. I used the highest noise reducing ear plugs I could get off amazon- they were musician ones- they really were life changing, these meant I could leave the flat and cope slightly better with a building site next door! At times however I found the earplugs weren’t enough and sounds could either be unbearable/ I would need to go somewhere for example to hospital that was just too many sounds to process so I got top of range noise cancelling headphones. I tried lots but only these seemed to reduce sound enough. Wearing the earplugs and over head headphones as a combination at times was a real life saver and just gave me a moment of peace to recharge energy levels again. Over time I have used plugs/headphones less and less, now not using earplugs at all. I now occasionally use headphones- mainly in cars/ trains/ by traffic.

I hope that helps,

All the best.

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Hi. I am exatly like you are all saying. Go to your GP and ask for a referral to the audiologist. My GP was gobsmacked when I got an appointment and was then referred on. I now have like a hearing aid which makes a continual low level hum. It's to try and retrain my brain to noise. I havent had it long and the audiologist says it could take a year or few minths or longer but I'm willing to try anything to correct it. At the momemt I cant wear them all day as it wears me out - it is noise afterall but sometimes I find I realise I have been able to haveca conversation in a place where there are other noises and distractions and I know tbat cosx eventually the spin cycle goes on in my brain and I have to escape.

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Dear Sir,hope you and your family are in good health and harmony,well Iam not,in neither just being discharged from hospital,after 2 brain surgeries,and without any explanations,or any helps;cares for my extremely slowly=Painfully ,my GP does not have much idea of the complexity of our conditions,neither is much interest,in anything else,if not,cuts..Austerity measures,like the goverment..,would you please be kind enough to just sends me the name of the devices you are using please!!Iam desparetely for something to helps me this torture of any noises,including tv,radio,cars..peoples talking louder...Iam hyper sensitive,and really needs to do something about it,please send me the name,and where I could buy this device please,like amazon??or??

Gob Bless you and your family.

Gratefully

Joey53

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Hi janeym79

Yes I can totally relate to you and this horrible post Bi issues,

I struggled so much with this problem it cost me my job as a Security Officer in a busy A+E hospital!

After being hit over the head in 2015 while walking home in the early hours I sustained a Bi

which also damaged my left ear, after the attack I couldn't concentrate ,had no real short term memory at all... and a big painful problem with sound! I just couldn't stand how loud everything seemed!! it hurt to walk around in normal life???. car horns, people laughing, just sitting in room with more than two people talking was painful and wound me up, a baby crying felt like i could cry myself it hurt that bad....

My ear piece for my radio after returning to work was useless...i didn't understand why even though I kept replacing it, it was impossible to hear and work, I used to keep telling my colleagues to stop shouting .....which of course they weren't..... :)) an A and E dept is noisy without having hearing probs!.. so yes i was really struggling..

I had to leave my job within weeks of returning as i had become a liability, it was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make to leave and admit defeat as I'm no quitter.

But I realized that if I couldn't hear, I couldn't help, there wasn't a choice, my life was taking me down another road.

I asked for help and Docs told me that where i'd been hit , the left side frontal lobe and left side across my ear the damage had caused the part of the sensors that i hear with to be effected in both ears, so i was hearing EVERYTHING at same level!! Doc explained if the blows to my head had been just a tiny bit the other way I would have been left completely deaf!! so i'm grateful for this, My hearing is important to me :)

The Specialist explained that when we are born as babies this how humans hear... we hear everything at same level !! .... as we grow and develop our brains learn to filter sounds and we can hear close up noises while also being able to reduce and still hear the surrounding sounds without us thinking about it.....

Our hearing develops, and our brains recognize sounds which become routine and only if a noise is extreme like as in concerts ,standing near an airplane engine etc will you move away because your brain will be telling you it could harm your hearing .

That's why people can sit in noisy rooms and still have phone conversations they don't think about it as their hearing has learn't to adjust , ....i can't now and probably never will do that again??

But the good news is I was offered a filter implant to help reduce the noise ( which I refused at the time because I was still very angry and uncooperative refusing to accept the changes that had happened to me) but this might help you?... I was told my hearing problems will heal to a more bearable level as years pass, and it's true :) yeah!!!!

I'm now 3 and half years into recovery, hearing is WAY better !!...yes i will never be able to use an earpiece anytime soon so my choice of jobs and income have been a major problem to try sort out but that is also due to memory and behavior changes since my attack, I still find some days are harder, but i can now go shopping and chat in busy places is easier...music on in my gym is less agitating for me, ...hearing does heal itself again i'm not as aware of the difficulties with the noise i once was...... I think you will find coping ways...you have too really ..I exposed myself to a certain amount of routine noise and this kinda helped me reintroduce the noise to my brain...when got to much i used earplugs or get to quieter place if possible ....i did found listening to music with headphones on helped me learn to filter again by concentrating on my music while in noisy places i learnt slowly again .....

I also need to work which means i have to deal with noise and all what goes with living in the city, I fight everyday with problems left from my bi...most of it is from the lack of filter i have now and folks not liking that much :).... it brings many challenges ...but i'm proud how far I've come.

I refuse to claim benefits as i won't let my attacker rob me of the pleasure i get from earning my own cash...that's a personal thing and just for the record I don't have any issues with my fellow Bi survivors claiming benefits :) xx

Best of luck...it gets easier....stay positive this real does help when at bottom...

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I know what you mean with lack of filter, i can see my fiancee physically cringe at times when i say things. Im not being rude, just truthful but alot of people dont know how to handle that lol

You explained the noise overload very well, it made a lot of sense. Its all a learning curve i suppose. For me its like experiencing everything again for the first time which can be an amazing thing. Its just the tiredness, and frustration at being how i am with the noise. And also explaining what its like when you are feeling it.

The abi team i am under have helped me along so much the past 5 months ive been with them. Its amazing what the right people in your life can do and what you can dream of achieving with the right support

Its like a second chance at life in a way. Its just a new life, but that doesnt mean its not possibly going to be better than before. Its a different life and i appreciate it a whole lot more now

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I am happy to see this thread! I never thought of this as a common issue, thought it was just me. Thank you all for letting me see I am not alone.

I have discovered that I need quiet spells almost as much as I need rest periods. So I take my breaks in my car or in the alley behind work where traffic noises are deadened.

And I get out of the noisy city as often as I can. Living in Canada that is easier here than elsewhere I realize. A half hour of relative quiet is almost as good as a two hour nap.

And yes it does get better, and yes it does interfere with life. And no, no one seems to factor that in to how difficult returning to work can be.

You have to be a tough person to survive a TBI.

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Hi J79....yes for sure - sound, light, smell, taste, tolerance in general, cannot sit in a cafe for too long for the mumbles of people end up driving me crazy, the noise from street traffic makes me want to scream, the sun-oh the beautiful sun, on the days before my injury i would crave this beautiful sun, now im happy when its raining all the time....lollollolol, the light gives me instant headaches.....tv, radio, music, anyone talking non stop or in a repeated manner-all sends me into chaos. i now have tinnitus 24hours a day, that can drive one to madness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sad but true. Try to meditate and focus on something other than whats around you causing the noise etc, its hard but it can help, i usually tell people to live in the moment, but actually blocking out the noise by refocusing is how i try to do it, and yes, headphones for sure, the big retro spongy ones...hahaha :)

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Yes its unexpected noises . Shouting and if things are dropped eco around a room . What I don't understand is I went to a concert and I coped really well. Lighting to fluorescent lights

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im deaf in one ear as a result of my abi, but i hear things my wife cant.

like you, possible i sit with my deaf side to a wall.

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Literally today i was saying to my ot that the lawnmower outside sounded as if it was in the room and as loud as she was talking. I have ordered myself some buds though that reduce noise. Hopefully this will lesson it somewhat. Anything is better than how it is atm so i am crossing my fingers!

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i use workmens ear plugs, theyre something daft like £1 for 10 pairs or ive also got wireless earphones for the tv, the ear plugs i wear when i go to sleep.

my wife carries a pair with her everywhere. theyre a bit hard at first, although i suppose you could soften them in warm water.

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Hi Steve,hope you + family are well,where could I buy those ears pligs please,name of the shops..??

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any diy shop.

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I got my ear plugs at etyplugs.com

ETYMOTIC

They are sold on amazon for not a lot $$

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Thank you very much for the info, really creates a very good value of knowledges into my life, thank you very much.

Gratefully

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Like you and many others noise is a problem for me as well. I find orchestra ear plugs are great for great! You get the sound but it’s not as harsh. I don’t wear them all the time. I always have them just in case it’s too loud. I have problems with the pitch they work great with that as well.

I wish you all the best and will say you will find ways to deal as time goes on. It’s a long process and I think we keep getting better at dealing with our “new normal”

Niyani

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Thank you very much for all your kindness and supports, yes my /our new normal, what's also a challenge is, the majority of people doesn't understand my situation /conditions /recovering. ..and those cup of acquaintances just Disappeared, and talking awfully about me on my back! How disappointing, after they being eating in my house for +-15 years almost all the weekends. ..they just couldn't care less! Very painful! Thanks for your support, God bless you and your family xx

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Yep, absolutely.

I always try and sit with my back to a wall or in a corner if in a busy environment with lots of people talking at once.

Can do loud music though if it’s coming from one source but if there’s multiple sources then fatigue takes over.

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So after doing some research online and after taking all of the advice given to me by everyone who shared views on this post i bought two sets of earbuds. One totally kinda blocks all sound but the others i have to say have turned my world around. I was lucky enough to have my partner buy me them as they are quite expensive. I bought the bose qc30 headphones that are in ear. The great thing about them is that i can alter the noise cancelling levels depending if i am somewhere quieter or louder. Its amazing just how much they do filter things out. Even so much as i can higher the cancellation levels to even quieten tv so i can hear conversations. I was in my own world doing my supermarket shopping. Had the filtering almost everything out which made me so much less tired and anxious and generally able to function on a whole different scale. I jist wanna thank everyone for giving me their advice and helping me realise that im not the only one who has this problem and also pointed me jn the right direction so thanks all very much once again 😊

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I forgot to say also to try Tapping, using certain pressure points on your body to try to relieve the pressure and to distract you from the noise, i've just said below-now i try to not use my headphones, i used them for about 4 years, now i feel they are damaging me more than ever due to the magnetics inside - but those years i used them walking down the streets were the best help at the time, i know that sounds hypocritical of what i said before J79.... don't do what i done and wear them at home or falling asleep. I went from wearing my headphones to wearing earplugs then i would use a wax....Now this wax i got from a floatation company-its used for when your floating so the salt doesn't go into the ear, instead of throwing mine away after the float-i kept it and wore it home and i felt the relief instantly, but also after a while blocking out the noise was causing my balance to get worse and causing my ears to become more sensitive to the noise around me..... i went through everything and all sorts to try to deal with the noise and its effects, i've had this for 7 years, now i just tolerate the noise, and refocus and block it out.

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Dear Janei,hope you+family are well,and good health,this site+Charity+comunity has been a Bless into my life,as the level,as the doctors and nurses(for me they have being like enlightened Angels on earth!),I have Exactly the same proble!!exactly the same sensitiviness with any noise at all,even drives me to a constante Panic attacks,and I always ends up in tears and shackling...,I jus been discharged from hospital.Charring Cross,on 03.06,had been there for 2 weeks and may cup of days more..,I have been discharged,without Any explanations..neither they did not have the basic level of humanity towards my recovery,alone,with many others severe conditions/disabilities,my follow up appointment is only on september,mind you I still have another Aneurysm in my brain to be treats,I have been saved by only cup of hours....it was extremely difficult+Painfully,I could not makes without the Nurses supports!how Gratefully Iam,and being Praying every single day,day and night ,as I have no any kinds of supports!!by the I have to appears in court,for the processes of ,transitions from old to the new system of benefits...They lost at least 4 times,vitals partes,doctors lettes...they kept changes officces...now in Nothern Ireland ..now have to come to court!!My recovery has been not just painfully but very lost..without much hope ...how I do needs supports,God Blesses all of you for this life saver community...

Gratefully

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