Your struggle zone - super-sensitive ears
You have a kind of ‘sound superpower’, a bit like a spider-sense, and even the background noise in an office or classroom hum can be intolerable. Loud noises at parties, shops and concerts can set you on edge, and make you feel out of control or even angry. For you, sounds and conversations are magnified, you might even hear people breathing or chewing.
You may process pitch differently and be able to hear dog whistles or alarms that are only intended for children. When you are overwhelmed by noises, the sound can become distorted and muddled. You wonder how anyone can cope with this but you are not alone and it can be horrible if you cannot escape it.
Being prepared is key – know the situation you are going into where possible, understand when these noises cause you difficulty and plan ahead to have tools or strategies close at hand.
- Earplugs at night to help you block out sounds and get to sleep. Earphone headbands are useful.
- Ear defenders are a great tool, or if you want something more subtle then perhaps use Vibes earplugs.
- Ask about using ear defenders or plugs at school or at work. Carry these in your bag so you can use them when needed. Prepare yourself or someone you look after for the environment they are about to walk into such as a crowded place or noisy environment.
- Make a safe haven at home – somewhere you can go and have the peace you need.
- Use noise you like such as music or sounds to block out noise that is causing you sensory difficulties.
- Make sure your work or school environment meets your needs. Talk to the teachers or your employer and explain how you work best:
- They may well be able to move your desk to a quieter area.
- Using a quiet break-out area when it’s a task that needs quiet focus.
- Put up a screen
- Close open doors and windows to reduce the noise.
- Request to be seated away from open doorways and windows.