View Full Version : Anyone else affected by high pitch noises, extreme hearing?


LaBrit
05-22-13, 08:55 AM
Is any one else sensitive to really high pitch noises? Or can't hear what someone is saying to you, when there are outside noises? Anyone else can hear a pin drop, while talking to one person, and another is talking behind closed doors, but can't hear a thing, with multiple noises? Anyone else get accused of "listening in" and you haven't, you just hear it, and wish you hadn't?"

I am highly sensitive to high pitch noises. Also, I can hear people talking outside of my therapists office, and I get totally off track sometimes. However the worst, is when the noise is a high pitch noise.

I hold my ear, turn away, and certainly don't hide my frustration with the child who is screaming in the supermarket. I don't like it, nor did the cashier the other day, but the difference is I really can't even function...it took me five minutes to get my wallet, pay, and get bags, as I had to stop each time the high pitch screaming started.

First I look like I'm over reacting to others, which bothers me. Second, at 5, they said at school after a hearing test, that I didn't hear well with "white noise", something to do with multiple conversations, or other noises. But they never noticed the sensitivity to high pitch noises...maybe it's as I've gotten a lot older, who knows, but I wish I wasn't so obviously upset in front of others. And, I wish I didn't hear as well as I do, during relative quiet, as you hear things you'd rather not know.

eats_mice
05-22-13, 09:58 AM
I feel that I am more keen to pick up on strange noises and high-pitched sounds than my peers. I am also a highly auditory learner. Indeed it is very hard for me to concentrate on a conversation when it is quieter than background noise.

Lunacie
05-22-13, 10:01 AM
You are NOT alone. :rolleyes:

Children shrieking and screaming are the worst. Kids in my nieghborhood
have learned not to scream when they're playing near our house because
I'll come running out yelling to know if someone is hurt and if I need to
call 911. That embarrasses them, which is what I want to do.

I'm the same way in a store, I simply cannot think at all when a child is
screaming or shrieking. But I also hate the horrible beeping noise in stores
nowadays from the electronic scanners. Some days I have to wear ear
plugs or I wouldn't be able to remember my pin number when I swipe my
debit card.

Before I got a debit card, I'd be at the checkout writing out my check and
someone would ask me a question and I'd lose track of what I was doing,
be unable to remember my own name to sign the dam check. I can't focus
on a person speaking to me if there is a lot of background noise.

But high pitches noises aren't any worse for me than the deep booming
bass of a car stereo, or the rumble of a 2-cycle motorcycle engine revving.
I'm sometimes surprised that I haven't murdered someone making that
kind of noise on my street.

The one I really dread . . . is the tinny high pitched "music" from the ice
cream truck that is played much MUCH too LOUD. I can hear it coming from
2 or 3 blocks away and all I can do is put my fingers in my ears and wait
impatiently for 10 minutes or so until it leaves the neighborhood.

Nachons
05-22-13, 11:43 AM
What you're describing sounds a little like hyperacusis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperacusis

The most intense range of hearing for humans is ~1000-5000 Hz, the range of normal speaking voices. Above and below that the sound has to be a lot more intense for it to sound as loud as someone talking.

Though, high pitches definitely poke their way through the fog of a mass of talking people. Not sure why that is!

TygerSan
05-22-13, 12:22 PM
High-pitched noises set my teeth on edge. . . The mosquito ring tones (that I'm not supposed to be able to hear at my age) hurt my head...

We used to have an old color TV that hummed when it was turned on, until you gave it a thwack on the head. I was the only one who would get up and whomp the thing, 'cause the whine drove me insane. . . parents couldn't hear it at all.

Most embarrassing, though, is that the frequency that I hate the most seems to be a favorite note employed by modernist composers (John Cage, etc . . .) I don't like the lack of structure in the music anyways, but to add those high-pitched discordant notes is like nails on a chalkboard :faint:. . . and you're not supposed to cover your ears when someone's performing, either. . .it's kinda poor form :umm1:

Somegeezer
05-22-13, 02:36 PM
I'm sensitive to gigantic, purple text.

But yes, also noise. I constantly hear things others don't seem to.

One of my ears is especially quite damaged due to years of abuse, with live music. On stage, I face almost side on, and one ear gets all the beating. :rolleyes:
My own fault.

But even with that, it still seems capable of picking up a lot more than everyone else.

sarek
05-22-13, 03:00 PM
I am quite audio oriented, much more than visually. I have pretty acute hearing. When I am near computers or lighting I hear those high pitch noises they make. Its almost subliminal but over the course of a whole day it greatly adds to my sense of being overwhelmed.

My hearing sensitivity really becomes extremely annoying when I am tired. People talking to me when I am in that state almost feel like a physical bombardment.

midnightstar
05-22-13, 03:11 PM
I'm really sensitive to noise, I can tell just by listening if the TV is on even if I block my ears when it's being switched on.

I'm sensitive to pretty much everything tbh.

winks1410
05-22-13, 07:24 PM
Yes! I thought I was going crazy or something! My doctor said that it's probably in my brain, not my ears and this would explain it! I'm pretty young right now (almost high-school) and a couple years ago, my ears started going nuts around high pitch noises.

For example, there's a computer in my class that makes a high pitched buzz when you leave it on for too long, and nobody else hears it except for me and one other kid.It drives me crazy! My ears hurt and I have to run to turn it off. Our class hole puncher also squeaks, and my teacher has to warn me whenever she's about to use it. Squeaking shoes suck too. You all know how bad screaming little kids are? Our class is right next to their yard where they have recess.

The worst part is that some kids in my class think I'm crazy, or trying to get attention. People mock me and joke about me because of it.

Now, enough complaining. What can we do? Frankly, I'm not sure, but like Nachons said

What you're describing sounds a little like hyperacusis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperacusis.

That's what came up when I Googled it. Unfortunately, therapy is supposed to cost about $3000 to $6000. Not cheap. Most websites I checked out say that wearing earplugs all the time just makes it worse. If you have them in all the time, your brain thinks that you're losing your hearing because of all the muffled sound. In response, it makes your already-too-sensitive hearing sharper to compensate. That means that whenever you take the earplugs out, everything will just be louder and higher.

What do I do? I just wear the earplugs if I know that there's going to be high-pitched noises. Like at recess for example. Or at concerts and horror movies.

Hope this helps!

Blanched Dubois
05-22-13, 09:19 PM
yeah i have always been aware over the past few years of a high pitched backround noise that varies in intensity and it makes me notice 'it' ....sometimes it's quite loud....mostly it's just there...and i do ignore it but the minute i read this thread I'm utterly aware i hear it all the time and just shift my focus and it's there
it's what i think is Schumann Resonance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonances

to be frank, i know it's not Tinnitus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinnitus

i've also had auditory experiences that have no explanation and happen from time to time with no advance warning - i call them part of my 'Spidey Senses'
lol

MWalker
06-06-13, 12:01 AM
My wife calls me batman because of my over developed sense of hearing. Apart from hearing practically everything, my brain does not prioritize what it hears. It all comes through as 'pay attention to this right now.' The wind in the trees, the barking dog, and the car barreling toward me with horn blaring are all the same. Overload comes rather easily.

sarek
06-06-13, 02:27 AM
.... Apart from hearing practically everything, my brain does not prioritize what it hears. It all comes through as 'pay attention to this right now.' The wind in the trees, the barking dog, and the car barreling toward me with horn blaring are all the same. Overload comes rather easily.

That is exactly the problem. It does not happen all day every day, but when it does its like being in a continuous avalanche. People trying to talk to me at such a moment almost cause me physical distress, I just want everyone to stop and shut up.

DizzyBee
07-03-13, 12:03 PM
Yes I am the same

meadowlark
08-26-13, 08:33 PM
High-pitched noises drive me crazy, as do multi-talker situations. I find I am soothed by low frequency sounds, like rain on the roof, a train in the distance, any low drone. Interestingly, I find that organic high-pitched noises that are in a drone, like cicadas, are quite pleasant to me. It's those sudden sounds that come arrowing through the air that pierce my eardrums.

Oh, I have much to say on this topic.

Greyhound1
08-26-13, 10:20 PM
We have a lot in common. Multi person conversations give me sensory over load especially if there are high pitched loud mouths there. Usually it takes about 15 minutes and I am ready to go. After about an hour I am not able to talk to anyone due to severe brain fog and hyper focus. Usually the hyper focus revolves around wanting to leave first, pulling my hair out is second or punching someone in the face and telling them they are driving me crazy also crosses my mind. Sudden noises also bother me not specific to high pitched ones. They really startle me and then I get agitated. Usually when I get really startled I see a flash of light and ringing in my ears. I can handle them better when I have my Adhd and anxiety under control. So, its not very often.

I love soothing sounds like the ocean and rain on the roof. I love most sounds made by nature especially water.

janiew
08-26-13, 10:43 PM
Yes, I am very sensitive to sound. Annoying sound can drive me crazy. Sounds I like, clear music, can transform my world. Double edged sword.

phantasm
08-27-13, 12:21 AM
Ditto, ditto and ditto!

Children screaming freaks me out too. I never know if they are dieing or just being abnoxious.

I hear all the sounds of the fridge, the heater, the grill, birds, bugs, the neigbors doing their dishes... all at once. Sigh....

I HATE motorcycles with the passion. The loud choppers specifially. :mad: I hate helicopters.

People's tones scare me too, I am very sensitive to the affliction in peoples voices and think they are angry when most of the time they say they are not.

Nighttime is the worst. I have to sleep with a whitenoise machine or else everything wakes me up.

My answer is YES!

Lunacie
08-27-13, 10:53 AM
I've shared this before, but I don't have to worry about children screaming
along our street anymore. They've learned that I will come running out of
the house with my cell phone in hand, asking what's wrong and saying that
I'm calling 911 ... !

I also managed to keep the ice cream truck off our street by asking the
park office why the mobile home park is posted "No door to door sales" so
why are "house to house" sales allowed? That tinkling song played over
and over and over so loudly that I can hear it from 4 blocks away drives me
over the edge!

Corina86
11-11-13, 10:59 AM
I don't think we are being wrong or abnormal for being disturbed by this kind of sounds. In fact, I think we are the only normal ones: our hunter-gatherer ancestors relied mostly on their hearing to prevent being attacked by some animal, so, while noises such as the weaves of the sea, the rain, a river, birds singing were ok, even pleasant, high pitched noises could be made by a predator, another injured human or animal, so they trigger our fight-or-flight response. But since we can no longer run or fight anyone, we are just being stressed out by these noises. It's one of the reasons I love nature so much: there is no sound to really annoy me.

Lunacie
11-11-13, 11:13 AM
I don't think we are being wrong or abnormal for being disturbed by this kind of sounds. In fact, I think we are the only normal ones: our hunter-gatherer ancestors relied mostly on their hearing to prevent being attacked by some animal, so, while noises such as the weaves of the sea, the rain, a river, birds singing were ok, even pleasant, high pitched noises could be made by a predator, another injured human or animal, so they trigger our fight-or-flight response. But since we can no longer run or fight anyone, we are just being stressed out by these noises. It's one of the reasons I love nature so much: there is no sound to really annoy me.

Bird song really annoys me, especially early in the morning too close to my window.

The sound of strong wind makes my anxiety go through the roof.

High pitch noise such as the "music" played by the ice cream truck make me feel violent.

Low growly noise like a 2-cycle motorcycle engine, the thump of the bass on the radio,
glass pack mufflers, make me want to scream and run away.

Corina86
11-11-13, 11:59 AM
@ Lunacie

Except for the birds' singing, the others would be perfectly normal if you were to live in a forest: strong wind might signal incoming storm (big danger), the ice-cream truck "music" is very annoying and totally unnatural and so are all the others. I get the same reaction as you have to motorcycle engine and pretty much every other sound that is made by man or machine, so I understand. I'm not trying to minimize the impact this sensitivity has on people's lives, just trying to figure out where it comes from.

animalcrazy
12-16-13, 11:24 PM
YES, I have always had an anger reation to high pitched sounds. When I had my hearing tested years ago I was told I could high pitch sounds that only dogs could hear. I doubt that is true. However, screaming children or a dog with a high pitch bark make really upset.

Tulip7171
12-16-13, 11:48 PM
High pitched sounds, sudden loud noises, non-stop barking dogs, the imperceptible whine of electronics, loud voices, etc. It all drives me mad. I startle very easily & have had the flash & ringing that Greyhound described.

What's interesting, is though I hate just about all loud noise, including some music, if I'm listening to music I like, it can't be too loud. And I prefer hard rock, metal, punk, electronica... heavy, pounding rhythms, whining guitar solos, & shouted lyrics.

demfabbones
01-08-14, 12:48 AM
the imperceptible whine of electronics

this this this this this!

janiew
01-08-14, 01:06 AM
Yes, hearing and differentiating/prioritizing are different things.

I am very sensitive to sound.

I am also sensitive to light.

Sensitivity to touch is something I've outgrown for the most part but I still like comfortable clothes, bed, pillow, etc.

janiew
01-08-14, 01:08 AM
Yes, hearing and differentiating/prioritizing are different things.

I am very sensitive to sound.

I am also sensitive to light.

Sensitivity to touch is something I've outgrown for the most part but I still like comfortable clothes, bed, pillow, etc.

I am also sensitive to *******. Fortunately, they are few and far between. :giggle:

Lunacie
01-08-14, 12:09 PM
Yes, hearing and differentiating/prioritizing are different things.

I am very sensitive to sound.

I am also sensitive to light.

Sensitivity to touch is something I've outgrown for the most part but I still like comfortable clothes, bed, pillow, etc.

I'm still waiting to outgrow sensitivity to touch or anything else. I'm 62. :umm1:

mischaelman
01-08-14, 07:51 PM
Sensitive to sound unless it's on my terms.

If I need background noise to focus it's fine, but I can't block out background noise from others when I'm practicing or trying to focusing on other tasks. When I do attempt to block out background noise I become exhausted very quickly.




Fluorescent lighting and the "energy efficient swirly bulbs" exhaust me. I've found that sunglasses help.

ChristineMoon
01-28-14, 10:37 AM
I am not so sensitive to sound, but I do have very good hearing, and sometimes think my children/ husband are the ones that don't. I can hear him tell the kids, in a normal voice, to come upstairs and tell me something (upstairs, around walls). He can't hear when I yell an answer back.

I have no problems with auditory processing- hearing multiple conversations. Talking while watching tv, or background noises such as a fan affecting my hearing, but my daughter has all of those issues and more.

I hear the kids' betta fish when they eat/ swallow air if I am next to the tank. Sometimes I hear the quiet hum a lightbulb gives off. When I have a migraine, it is insanely loud. I swear that my father and his wife are starting to lose their hearing, but I can barely stay in a room when they are watching tv. I do have some sensory issues, but I don't think they affect my hearing in a bad way.

hcstymie
11-19-16, 06:53 PM
Children can hear higher pitch sounds than adults. As we get older, we naturally lose some of our ability to hear those sounds. If you could hear high pitch sounds as a kid your parents couldn't, that is normal.

Part of being ADHD is not being able to filter out distractions as easily as everyone else. Normal people can "turn off" things in the background and not be distracted by them. i.e. normal people have better "selective hearing". "noise in the surrounding environment is heard by the auditory system but only certain parts of the auditory information are processed in the brain."
1. Noticing sounds other don't is probably more of a result of selective hearing.
2. Interesting thing though. People are very sensitive to hearing their own name. Someone might not hear you trying to talk to them, but as soon as you say their name, they can hear you. Or they might hear their name pop up in someone elses conversation at which before they were not at all aware of the conversation.

When we talk about "sensitivity" to high pitch sound, maybe we could distinguish better "sensitive" as in more sensitive ears being able to detect the sound. And "sensitive" being that the high pitch sounds bothers us. Had to reread a couple times to see which the person was referring to in some posts.
1. When I was a kid the hearing tests at school, I would be able to detect sounds well above normal. Surprised the person doing the test every time. Some at the high end I couldn't necessarily hear, but it was like a sixth sense telling me which ear it was in.
2. As a kid I could sometimes close my eyes while walking and sense objects as I approached and passed them through hearing. Like trees and garbage cans. I know there are some blind people who make clicking sounds and do this like a bat so to speak.

2. Now, between natural and unnatural (minor hearing loss due to loud music) I am sensitive to high pitch sounds. As in they bug the heck out of me. Listening to music in a system that is "bright" i.e. has the tweeter volume up high drives me nuts. Lots of trebble sounds fuzzy to me. Like extra unintended noise at the high end. Don't know if it is really there or if it is just me. They compress music recordings now to get rid of outlying sounds.

Had a hearing test a few years ago. Said my hearing was normal. But to me the world sounds a little muffled. Maybe the hearing loss I have from too much loud music is just dropping me down to normal.

Babies crying / children screaming in the super market. I just want to drop kick them, punt them out of the store. Give me nails on a chalk board over that any day. Flight from the U.S. to UAE, seats must have been in a children section. There were about 4 rows with a wall seperator in back and in front. Some baby thing on the wall in front to hang something that holds the child. That was a horrible experience.

For me patterns are the most distracting. If there is a pattern my brain will queue to it.
1. Sound with a pattern is worse than no pattern. High pitch sound with a pattern is the worst! Conversations I can filter out better than music. If I hear the slightest hint of someone listening to music I can't concentrate.
2. Visually patterns mess with me.
a. those moving adds on a web page. Sometimes have to resize the page and move the add off screen to concentrate.
b. Someone near by shaking their leg or tapping on something. If I can feel the vibration even a little it drives me nuts.


I have noticed other sensitivity
1. Visually, on CRT monitors, when the screen was white, if the refresh rate was at 60hz I couldn't even look at it. Looked like the screen was flashing to me. Even up to 75htz at times was noticeable. I'd look at someones monitor and tell them they had to increase the refresh rate before I could work with them on somehting. They couldn't even detect it.
2. Strobe lights are horrible. Was fun when I was a kid. Now I just want to kill the person who turned them on.
3. Touch sensitivity. A little as an adult but not too bad. Socks were horrible when I was a kid though. Had to line them up just right and fit into my shoe just right or it drove me nuts. If they shifted later I'd be pulling and twisting them trying to get them to feel right. Father found it kind of funny. I didn't.