How to Block Out Noise?

(Question from a reader in the USA)

I am gifted with very acute hearing and therefore have my dreaming and thinking constantly imposed upon — in stores, on the train, in my (thank God, temporary) loft apartment, and even in doctors' waiting rooms. How can I best go about BLOCKING this junk. I want and need SILENCE.


Reply from Noise Help:

It's really tough, isn't it! What I do is carry ear plugs with me everywhere I go. Fortunately they're so small that it's easy to do. They don't block out all sound — nothing can, and it probably wouldn't be the safest thing to go around in public with all your hearing blocked anyway.

Also fortunately, the most effective ear plugs are the foam kind, which are very inexpensive. Most drugstores have them, or you can order them online. Flent's "Quiet! Please" foam plugs work well for a lot of people.

In general, the higher the NRR (Noise Reduction Rating), the better, but as long as you get some rated 29 or higher, they should work fine. To get the maximum sound reduction, the most important thing is to insert them properly.

For blocking sound when you're in your apartment, ear plugs can help there too, but you can also try some other techniques.

It's nearly impossible to have silence in day-to-day life, at least not as often as we want. See if you can find a spot somewhere that is quiet, a place you can use as a sanctuary when you really need to get away from the noise. Some people find that meditation helps get them through the more hectic and noisy parts of their day.

You're not alone in your frustration! I hope this gives you a starting point and some practical ideas to work with.


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