A bus screeched to a stop in front of me as I waited to cross the street.
I grimaced and instinctively covered my ears.
I turned to my husband Jim and asked, “didn’t that sound hurt your ears?” No, he says. “Ugh,” I said. “It literally HURT my ears.”
A few days later, we are walking down the street and a car goes by and breaks the silece with a loud horn HONNNNK! I involuntarily let out a small yelp. And jumped a little bit.
“Why did you yell?” Jim asked, a little annoyed at my outburst.
“I can’t help it.” I said.
So, yeah. I’m very sensitive to sudden noise, loud noise, incessant background noise, and high-pitched screeching. When someone would walk up to my cubicle at work and start talking to me, often I would jump. I didn’t want to jump; I couldn’t help it.
Oh, and I can also hear when a TV is on but the sound is muted. Even in another room. There is some really small, high-pitched electronic-y noise that comes from TVs that I’ve been able to hear since I was a little kid. Sometimes I’ll be like, “that TV is still on,” even when it looks off. And sure enough, it turns out that it’s on. It’s a pretty useless superpower.
I asked my husband–since he’s known me for 10 years–if he could think of any examples of me being jumpy around noises. His answer was interesting: “You jump when you hear any loud random sound that’s unexpected. It doesn’t even have to be loud–just squeal-y or high pitched. It’s anytime anything unexpected happens to you.”
Oftentimes, I’m *thinking* about something when sudden noises occur, so the sudden noise is disturbing me and jerking me out of my train of thought. That’s why I jump. I’m jumpy.
As far as I know, there’s nothing I can do about this. I can’t prepare myself for unexpected noises.
Further reading: Here is a fantastic article about how noises affect HSPs more than others.
Jumpy!! finally a word to describe it!!! I’m jumpy too!!
Today I was singing and an unexpected bomb explode two times and I got so jumpy my heart pounded and hurted but It stopped and it’s fine now I’m losing weight
& i am jumpy too! Can you ever hear the destinctive noise of a TV turning on? No one else I knew of seemed to ever notice!
Yes I hear that too and I can also walk down a street in hear the same noise from ppl homes and know that the TV is on and also cars that were driven give off a certain noise. Really annoying.
I am a grown a$$ woman & still cover my ears when fireworks are poppin on 4th of July lol! I can FEEL it in my whole body, its so obtrusive & disruptive to me & makes me feel uneasy, & it does hurt my ears & my whole body too:-( Sucks that we cant prepare for unexpected noises! Even with fireworks, I know they are going to happen but it still makes me jump. I also notice that I will physically move away from people who are loud talkers or have vibes that make me uneasy/uncomfortable…it makes me sick to my stomach & I even broke out in hives when I was dating an ex that made me uncomfortable :-X ohhh what a wonderful world it is for an HSP lol!;-P
Haha, thanks for the comment, Michelle! If I know fireworks are coming, I’m ok–but sudden ones shake me to my core for a second. I hate that feeling!
I stay indoors every 4th of July. The fireworks really set my anxiety levels super high.
Me too when it comes to fireworks I cover my ears and run away until it’s gone
Hey Kelly, I was just listening to your Podcast about sudden/loud/&incessant noises.
And as I was listening to your story about the bird outside your window when you were half-asleep, I couldn’t help but think of this clip from my favorite childhood tv show that I wanted to share, I think it’s quite a laugh! 😀 The character has spent all night trying to get to sleep.
This is just me in a nutshell. When i hear a door slam next door, it makes me jump. When i am playing a video game and i step on a landmine, i jump and my heart races because of the sound, plus the unexpected visual effect. You don’t even want to know how far i fly when i see a jumpscare xD
This is what I was like when I was little. I would hate the sound of my school buzzer at the start of school and would cover my ears. Same thing with fire drills. I’d jump and immediately cover my ears because of this fire alarm “screeching” in my ears. Or the sound of an air horn. Now, I still feel this anxiety before a fire drill, but it isn’t as bad as in the past. Sure sounds like you went through a lot with this too!
Adrenal fatigue. Try standardized ashwaganda to try to flush the cortisol out of your blood, and it usually takes six months to recover from adrenal fatigue if you can even relax enough to get better. I get it often, stressful events hit our bodies long after sometimes and we don’t ever realize it to you shriek and jump at normal daily things, little bursts of startling tingling, fluttering heart beats, and just looking for sleep. Best of luck!
Thanks for the info–I’m not familiar with ashwagandha; going to read up on it!
Today while my family and I were eating dinner. My dad leaned over and attempted to kill an insect that was on my chair. I wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing and the loud bang from him hitting the chair frightened me outta my mind. That I actually burst into years. At this point everyone at the dinner table proceeded to tell me how crazy I am and that there’s something wrong with me. I can still hear the bang resounding in my head now despite it being hours later.
Is there something wrong with me? Am I crazy?
No way! He scared you! There’s nothing wrong with you. I kind of think that sensitivity is beautiful…it shows how finely tuned you are. The opposite of dull and complacent.
That high pitched sound coming from the TV was heard by me, too. It was a result of the scanning process on old picture tube televisions.
I’ve always been a bit nervous with sudden noises but things have worsened over the last two or three years. A neurologist believes I have myoclonus, and sudden jumps can occur even without noises. Seeing something unpleasant on TV (someone punched, crashing a car, falling off a building, etc.) or even the mere thought of such things can make me jump. It mostly happens when lying down sitting low in a chair, and rarely when standing. At times, it happens every few seconds all by itself. I can live with it if it gets no worse.
Is there a name for highly sensetive persond who can not stand noise? I jumpt when people talk behind me unexpecterly.of simple noises. Is this a desease? Can it be cured? I have been suffering all of my life. My 3 hearing aids dont help me at all.. I hear all right , but I dont understand what they are saying unless they are infront of me. If anybody knows a cure Please let me know while I am still alive.
Thank you with the Bigest HUG.
How do your ears feel after listening to a loud fire alarm? And how do you react to it? I wonder if our experiences are the same!
I would cover my ears, for sure!!
I’m 25 and to this day loud noises really affect me. My great uncle who was a Vietnam vet always said that I reacted like a Vietnam vet to loud noises. Anything from fire alarms to balloons popping fire works and thunder made me jumpy and I used to yell a lot. Now I get really anxious but I would love to know why I react so badly to loud noises.
And why do people make fun of “jumpy” people. Some people will do things on purpose to make you jump once they find out you’re jumping. It’s a seems kinda sadist if you ask me. I literally can’t help it that I’m jumpy. I really wish I wasn’t like that. Believe me, it’s not a great feeling to have your heart start racing or break out in a sweat or let a little high pitched “ack” when something startles you.
My mother yells at me to stop every time I do this and I even jump why someone starts talking in complete silence and people think I’m faking it! I’m definitely not!
Having the jumpy feeling i dont have ms (nero said so without mri)
Even soft voices hurt me and cant cover my ears as i have tinitus
Does tinitus adds to the sound sensitivity
As if the frequency get tuned and amplifies
Dr is call it pre meno symtoms
I can hear distant voices while no body hears them
Its driving me crazy
I just found your site. I cannot believe you can hear the TV too! For example, when I was little (I’m 41 now), I could literally “hear” the TV on downstairs even if my dad had it on MUTE and fell asleep in front of it, late at night.
I would go downstairs and sure enough, it was on and I’d tell him to go to bed…LOL
Everyone always thought I was weird! Now I know I’m not alone! THANK YOU!
I had posted this under a different topic, but I thought I would try it here to possibly connect with others that have this same issue. I have something I feel could somehow be related to my HSP trait. I have BFS (Benign Fasciculation Syndrome). I would be hard pressed to believe that there is not a relationship between the two due to the highly sensitive startle response. I do wonder how many others struggle with BFS.
I hate popping balloons. As a child at parties, I always opted out of balloon popping games or kept my ears covered. And thought I was weird! I also have a high startle reflex. It was my first insight to being HSP.
I can hear a door squeak open in the next room when I’m sleeping …I jump awake and reflexivly say loudly, in a panic,,,”What was that? I sometimes say it 3 or 4 timed before I can stop myself.
The high pitched noise from electronics is a leaky capacitor “squeal” (I am a computer repair man). There are several electronic noises but the squeal is unmistakable. Others are bad or cheap LED lightbulbs have ac/dc rectifiers that will buzz or hum, and the good old “60 cycle hum” which anything plugged into the wall can make.
I get hyper sensitive when I am overwrought. I have been that way many times and lately it doesn’t go away. Another post said something about adrenal something or other. Like it comes from you adrenal gland working overtime making your whole system super sensitive. Makes sense to me.
Hans, maybe you can help me identify a noise that keeps me awake at night. I think it is some kind of electronic noise, a sort of a beep, at a rate as though someone was tapping on a table. I do not have a televisión, have turned off my internet connection and that did not help. It seems to come from outside of my house – I live in a national park so not traffic related, but there are lots of lights on the house opposite, and also Street lights. I know I have good hearing but do not consider myself sensitive to noise in general. I seem to hear this noise through my temples more than my ears.
I have this problem with sounds that I don’t just hear them; I feel their vibrations in my abdomen. I also am startled easily by unexpected sounds and these regularly cause me to scream, shake and lose my focus. I am a level 1 autistic. I have this problem with unexpected touch as well. Motorcycles revving their engines, doors slamming, loud thunderstorms (always watching the email for storm alerts); These are just a few of the sounds that, for me, cause instant meltdowns that I cannot stop. Currently working on Self-Soothing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Does anyone have suggestions for self-soothing techniques that involve the senses I might try?
Yes, yes, yes! I can so relate to this as well. It seems to be getting more intense as I get older though – hope that doesn’t continue, lol!
I have the same “problems” if you wanna term them as negative. It is very embarrassing being a 42 year old man that literally somehow bounces / jumps up about 6 inches in the air by like the result of every muscle in my body instantly tightening 200%, like a REFLEX, when a doctor taps your knee and you involuntarily kick. And sometimes I’ll yell, luckily I don’t scream. But it’s a fairly loud, yet short, “AHHHH!” Like the noise of a soldier being shot in a war movie. Almost, COMPLETELY UNCONTROLLABLE. Same as the knee kicking. I have “trained” myself to shut my mouth as part of the reaction, which has allowed me to go out to the movies. The weird thing is, I’m a MUSICIAN. And despite being around amplifiers that did affect my colleagues with hearing loss, I could never tolerate the 120+dB, and I have always used a special set of ear plugs that allow you to hear the music exactly the same, just at a much lower volume level. These earplugs are often used by Secret Service and special forces military, because they suppress the noise of gunfire down to what sounds like a kids cap gun, yet you can still hear a person whisper clearly. There is also option to attach one of those 2-way radios that have the curly “phone cable” you see on tv and movies that runs down the side of the neck on one side, and allows like Secret Service to communicate while spread out. I’ve gone shooting many times with them, and for EXTREMELY LOUD AK-47, M-16, 3oo6, and various high power sniper rifles, it removes the volume of the bang down to a little pop, like as loud as popcorn. Yet i can hear my friend spotting for me 30 feet away just like normal. Might help some of you?
I recently had my hearing tested for a custom set of in-ear monitors, that block 100% of exterior sound, and replace it with an auxiliary output from the mixer, attached to another mixer, where I can adjust the levels of each instrument and my vocals in a way that I can my guitar and my voice just a little bit more than the live mix the audience hears. It’s an amazing tool!!! VERY EXPENSIVE though.. Anyways, I had to have casts made of my ear canals and a very LONG hearing test, as the make the in-ear inserts custom from the molds to fit perfectly and achieve 100% block of all sound. (you kinda still hear it though by vibrations in your skull and stuff..) But when the doc sent me my results of hearing test, he said he was blown away by the sensitivity and accuracy (able to hear what words are said at various frequencies) of my hearing, especially because of my age of 42, and spending the past 30 years around the amplifiers and all.. As my hearing is better than 99.99% of everyone in every age group. – I was his first and only occurrence (to my knowledge) of a perfect score.
So I am wondering if I have this jumpy response as a result of a brain issue, or if it is caused directly, or the result of, sensitive hearing; and if any of you have the ability to hear EVERYONE whisper, as loud at normal conversation, and are like, “Really? They think I can’t hear every word they say?”
And if any of you have had a thorough hearing test and do have very sensitive hearing??
And if so, if anyone has a good explanation of what’s going on really.. And how it should be treated, IF it can or IF it should be treated at all.
If you have any info, please get ahold of me through my website, which has a email contact form under the ‘CONTACT’ menu item. The URL that will take you directly to my contact page is:
Thank you for reading, and thanks in advance for any replies and/or emails!
With All Sincerity,
This is definitely me. The way I grew up also doesn’t help. I was always yelled at and doors were slammed daily. Ugh. I can only tolerate fireworks if I’m in a room with the windows closed-that dampens the sound enough so I don’t jump out of my skin.