Monday, November 9, 2015
Explaining Noise Anxiety
Noise anxiety is an extreme sensitivity to noise. When someone has noise anxiety and is exposed to certain types of noises, they can suffer from a variety of stress and anxiety related emotions. These emotions can range from uneasiness to aggression. Constant buzzing and whirling of music, technology, ringing of phones and loud conversations can be overwhelming. Sufferers may feel trapped with no escape. He/She may feel as though they can hear every conversation or noise in the room. They may become disorientated and want some place quiet. The effect is similar to being in an echo chamber. For some sufferers there may be a sense that sounds are being created deliberately to annoy or upset them. Some people are more at risk than others. People who have anxiety or depression are more likely to develop noise anxiety, as well as, women and introverts. The condition may happen at anytime. It usually happens during a stressful time and will heighten the stress and unease. This makes the sufferer even more anxious, upset or depressed. Certain loud noises can cause anxiety to build for people who already have an anxiety disorder. Hyperacusis is a condition where a person has a sensitivity to noise in a certain auditory range. It arises from a problem in the way the brain processes noise. A condition sometimes called Misophonia is an intolerance to certain sounds, usually causing a reaction like flying into a rage. For many people, the noises are repetitive and chronic causing the patient to feel he/she has no control over the sounds. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause. Wearing earplugs and noise canceling headphones can help to dampen the noise. For those with an underlying anxiety, need to seek other forms of therapy to help them cope with noise therapy and reduce the severity of the effects. One type of therapy is called "pink noise". It is flat sounds like the buzz of an empty TV station or the ocean. In order to create sound masking programs, pink noise can be mixed with other noises. This type of noise contains a signal that its frequencies fall within the range of a human's hearing. Typically, it is created by filtering white noise. They can be designed to stimulate running water, a fan or the sound of the sea. To help them relax, some people play it as background noise because of its soothing qualities. Some patients have a sensory overload due to brain injury, epilepsy or ear damage. Increased sensitivity to noise can also be associated with neurological conditions such as migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.