by Candy
(Los Angeles, CA, USA)

I suffer hyperacusis. My ears are hypersensitive to certain noises. Certain noises make my ears HURT! Excruciating TORTURE! People popping, clicking & smacking their gum, sucking hard & smacking on their food & candy & sucking their teeth hard for 20 minutes continuously after eating. Loud vehicles. People typing. I also get distracted very easily. I have to listen to white/pink/brown noise or ocean waves 24/7. I'm a prisoner of this disorder. It has ruined my life & social relationships. My family & everyone else HATE me because of this. They think I'm just CRAZY! & my family smack in my ear ON PURPOSE, & random people pop, click & smack their gum ON PURPOSE just to get me riled up & then laugh. It's torture! No psych medication in the world is going to help. They haven't helped before. They're not going to help now. Hearing trigger noises make my Tourette's go out of whack.

My own family don't even care about me, & they wish me dead, & they spread lies & hate about me. I had to move across the country to get away from them & cut off total contact with them to prevent from further abuse.

I'm 29 & have been suffering it since I was 16. Almost 17. I suffer OCD, anxiety, Tourette's & depression, & have been on an array of psych meds all my life. I had 2 strokes when I was 5, & I have TMJ. I had nose surgery twice & eye surgery once, all as a child. I'm easily prone to ear infections. I also suffer vertigo. The vertigo can last for like 3 weeks.

33 decibel ear plugs don't even help. I can still hear outside sounds with so-called noise-cancelling earbuds/headphones, while playing the ocean sounds. Sometimes, I rather be dead or @ least deaf, to not have to suffer with this. I have even attempted suicide because of this condition.

When I ask people politely to stop with their gum, they say, "You crazy b****, go take your medicine!" & then, everyone on the bus/train laugh @ me. I've even been chased home several times with people threatening to hurt me because of this. I've unintentionally developed many enemies because of this. No one cares about my daily suffering. & everywhere I go, it's the gum-clicking. Like it's a fashionable trend! I stay home & hardly leave the house because of this people clclicking their gum like uncivilized cows! It's just as unescapable as the All-Seeing Eye of Lucifer! Everywhere I go, EVERYONE has the gum ignorance!

I'm disabled & on a fixed income, & I can't afford any more than $30 of noise cancelling HEADPHONES. Maxell doesn't work. Phillips used to have some for $25 from Walmart that worked very well. They don't make them anymore.

I JUST got referred to an ENT. I've been asking for YEARS about what could be wrong, & no doctor in the world could tell me. My current PCP just recently referred me a couple of months ago to an ENT. My condition is disabling & crippling. I don't want psych meds, ear implants or surgery as a "cure" I want naturopathic methods.

Someone said that hyperacusis has something to do with weak ear muscles. I'm not sure.

Please help with any advice. I know Satan & the Illuminati are behind ALL corruption, ailments & disease. I deserve to enjoy life, just like anyone else. My twin sister doesn't have this problem. She also smacks food in my ear on purpose, just to make me riled up, & then she gets everyone else to do it. I'm surprised I never dropped out of school because of it! I failed plenty of exams in school because of the gum!

Reply from Sarinne:


Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry to hear of all the troubles you've been having. Good for you for persisting until you were able to get a referral to an ENT! I hope that a new medical professional can help shed more light on the problems related to your hearing, and more importantly that he or she can guide you in obtaining the resources to get you started toward overcoming the difficulties you describe.

Hyperacusis is not the same thing as tinnitus (ringing in the ears), but they often occur together and they share some similarities in how they affect people. Hyperacusis is a condition in which sounds of certain frequencies seem excruciatingly loud, even at normal volumes which don't bother others. You also mention a special sensitivity to gum popping and food smacking sounds -- people who have sensitivities to particular sounds like this are sometimes said to have "misophonia" or "selective sound sensitivity syndrome" (4S). Although little is understood about misophonia, it is distinct from hyperacusis. It's certainly possible to have both.

I don't want to trivialize the problems you are facing by pretending they can be solved with a few quick words of advice. I hope you will continue to seek help until you find someone who is able to work with you in successfully addressing them. Persistence and determination are your greatest assets! Best wishes in your journey to better health.

— Sarinne from Noise Help

PS Here are links to books with more in-depth information on these topics:
Misophonia / selective sound sensitivity syndrome (4S)

Comments for Hyperacusis

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Jul 30, 2015
by: hanginthere

Appreciate the story. My dad was in Vietnam and one day he woke up with hearing loss. Suddenly just quit hearing. Like to have driven him crazy. Started in left and moved to right but right has enough for him to hear if you are in his face. He cannot stand it. Went to doc.Doc said you have sudden hearing loss. Went to another and he said same. Treatment: Steroids (the usual answer to everything), Valium, and of course locked in an institution. He chose neither. He has lived with it for 20 years now. It is a shame that your family has treated you so badly. Please know they will get their day!!!
Praying for you and your family. Everybody needs help. My dad thought he was losing his mine. As soon as doc showed my mom, she understood. He asked the doctor to rupture his ear drum. Doc said nope, can't, too close to brain. May not come out of it or total loss.

Dec 08, 2016
Hope things are better
by: Helpful Parents

Our hearts reach out to you, Candy, and hope that the ENT has been able to help. Our son has a similar, but much less severe, medical background, problem and reactions that are still debilitating and disruptive. You may not have been able to check into the books that are new to us, but these two sites have some helpful information.

The hyperacusis.net site discusses four main types of hyperacusis, one of which is misophonia. Experts are beginning to understand that different treatments are needed for the different types and your references to pink noise, etc. sound like you are on the right track. The site also has a listing of ENTs who specialize in treating the problem.

The Misophonia Association site also has many resources. Both sites point out that misophonia is unfortunately not a recognized diagnosis, yet, even though it obviously exists.

One thing our son has found to help is to get adequate sleep every night without fail. If he is short on sleep, his days sound like yours. He too has taken psych meds for other reasons and some made the misophonia worse. Not sure about Sarinne's opinion about mentioning specific treatments, but ask your ENT to consult with a psychiatrist about prescribing LOW DOSE resperidone. I won't get more specific but it seems to help him tolerate things better. Problem isn't solved, but the agony goes away.

Oct 06, 2017


I urgently need noise cancelling headphones.
I live in a dorm in China and I am losing my sanity and health, although I don't have any specific medical condition.
Simply, the nutter upstairs, spends his nights walking up and down till 2 or 3 in the morning and moving chairs, or beds, or who knows what the hell he's doing.

To make a long story short I need the best noise cancelling headphones available that will work without battery as well, if possible, and without music, as when I sleep I just want absolute silence. It needs to erase the steps' deaf sounds as well. I read some posts but I only see headphones with battery to combine with music, which would cost me a fortune of batteries, as well as contaminating nature and disturbing my sleep with music.

At the moment to survive I do put music in my ears or chinese language classes when I try to sleep but this cannot last long. Please advice asap. thank you!

Jan 08, 2020
Hope this helps! NEW
by: Helping Others

The best headphones are from Bose, you don't have to use music. Sony XW also is a great well known brand.

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