There is a confirmed link between PTSD and noise sensitivity and hyperacusis.
And I don’t mean the loud sounds, startle reflex types of sound.
I mean the real PTSD stressors, like tapping, high pitched sounds, competing sounds, the vacuum cleaner, the lawn mower, kids bouncing balls……..
On bad days – I can literally feel like I want to scream!!!!
It is literally pain in my head.
I also notice an increase in noise sensitivity later on in the day, when my brain is already overwhelmed, and an increase when I am stressed and my PTSD symptoms all increase.
It’s a not a commonly known one, but I have deep insight into my PTSD symptoms and why – so I researched it.
What Is Hyperacusis?
Hyperacusis is a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain’s central auditory processing center perceives noise. It can often lead to pain and discomfort.
Individuals with hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating sounds which do not seem loud to others, such as the noise from running faucet water, riding in a car, walking on leaves, dishwasher, fan on the refrigerator, shuffling papers. Although all sounds may be perceived as too loud, high frequency sounds may be particularly troublesome.
As one might suspect, the quality of life for individuals with hyperacusis can be greatly compromised. For those with a severe intolerance to sound, it is difficult and sometimes impossible to function in an every day environment with all its ambient noise. Hyperacusis can contribute to social isolation, phonophobia (fear of normal sounds), and depression.
Prevalence And Causes Of Hyperacusis
Many people experience sensitivity to sound, but true hyperacusis is rare, affecting approximately one in 50,000 individuals. The disorder can affect people of all ages in one or both ears. Individuals are usually not born with hyperacusis, but may develop a narrow tolerance to soundOther common causes include:
• Head injury
• Ear damage from toxins or medication
• Lyme disease
• Air bag deployment
• Viral infections involving the inner ear or facial nerve (Bell’s palsy)
• Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome
There are a variety of neurologic conditions that may be associated with hyperacusis, including:
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Tay-Sach’s disease
• Some forms of epilepsy
• Valium dependence
• Migraine headaches
I am aware so many people have issues with noise intolerance, and can it can be due to hyperacusis, hypervigilance, triggers.
The PTSD brain, processes stimuli, differently to brains.
~ Lilly Hope Lucario
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March 17, 2014 at 4:43 am
I love reading your posts. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award. You can read about The Liebster Award at http://lilliesloves.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/liebster-award/
March 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm
Reblogged this on justiceforkevinandjenveybaylis.
April 6, 2014 at 11:24 am
Thank you this is very helpful. I always thought that it was because I am deaf in one ear that I am so sensitive to noise but I now realise this is more likely to be as a result of a significant trauma in infancy. Thanks for the heads up, I am going to get it checked out by a specialist who seems to have some tools for improvement. YAY!
April 7, 2014 at 12:48 am
Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
For many of us adoptees this will make sense!
April 7, 2014 at 12:50 am
Thank you for this info it is particularly relevant for adoptees for suffer trauma through mother-loss and adoption.
April 7, 2014 at 10:55 pm
I echo what eagoodlife said…sometimes I can hear high pitched noises that no one else notices…if the tv is one of two clicks too loud it may as well be turned up all the way…I have lots of trouble in loud restaurants and parties…
November 3, 2014 at 9:18 am
This is especially bad for me when there are multiple competing noises (the dishwasher and the washing machine or going to the mall and hearing all the people talking and the loud overhead music). If I’m in a store where there’s too much noise, I usually have to leave early, sometimes before I’m done.
And I have to schedule my loud house-related things (dishwasher, vacuum, hairdryer, washing machine) so they’re never going at the same time. Otherwise it’s overwhelming because, to me, it feels EXTREMELY loud.
April 7, 2015 at 11:07 pm
My sensitivity is to low frequency noise including thuds and thumps in the building I live in. I literally start shaking with fear and have to go outside when it gets too much. It seems to be getting worse at the moment. Glad to have found this site. I have a history of childhood trauma and abuse plus adult trauma.
August 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm
Yes, this is me. I see mention of “competing noise”. So that’s how to describe what drives me up a tree. When two people talk to me at once, I feel like I’m being somehow crushed between the two voices and I get this panicky feeling. And the sound of the television, oh, how I hate that. I never watch TV, but my family members do, and I have no choice but to suffer through it. 😦
August 10, 2015 at 5:53 am
I had basicly the same things last night
August 10, 2015 at 5:55 am
Everything I have read here and more
October 19, 2015 at 1:33 am
Wow, my family thinks I am crazy when I tell them I need quiet. This morning am in tears with neighbor doing renovation, 2 tvs on and dryer going. 😦
October 19, 2015 at 6:14 am
The PTSD brain can be very overwhelmed by noise and especially competing/multiple noises.
I completely understand why those noises will make you emotional.
It is helpful when we understand why this is an issue and also our family understand, so please feel free to let them know about my website to help them understand more.
November 10, 2015 at 9:51 pm
You literally just changed my life, I’m a recovering drug addict who is also recovering ffrom a very abusive relationship and i’ve been so sensitive to sound that its basically making my life unmanageable I had no idea this condition existed thank you so much, I feel like i’m not insane now.
November 11, 2015 at 6:24 am
I am so sorry for all you have been through Kat. I am glad if the info helps you know what you are dealing with ❤ ❤
March 23, 2016 at 8:06 am
I don’t have hyperacusis, but I have Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome which is pretty frustrating and related to anxiety levels. My ear drum thumps and pulses after I speak or after I hear a high pitched noise. So I can relate somewhat to what hyperacusis must be like. Thanks for the great info. I don’t think there is enough written about how stress or trauma can affects our ears.
March 23, 2016 at 8:07 am
Yes, I think there are probably many ways ongoing anxiety, PTSD etc… affect us physically, that we don’t know enough about.
July 16, 2017 at 8:20 pm
And to make matters worse. I have tinnitus. So I have the horrible PTSD w hyperacusis AND tinutus. I am suffering so bad I’m going to the health food store to find something to quiet down my brain and help w anxiety