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The Problem: Acute Noise Sensitivity

A growing segment of the world’s population suffers from Acute Noise Sensitivity (ANS), meaning they are hypersensitive to general or specific sounds; a very bad condition to have in our increasingly noisy world. Sounds including concerts, loud parties and raucous conversations that most people with normal hearing enjoy, often cause physical pain to those suffering from ANS. As a result, these unfortunate people, including very young children through all ages of adults, live a constrained life; one without concerts, parties and other loud venues. They cannot enjoy even the most mundane amusements because so many of them include sound levels those with ANS find physically painful. As a result, these people are often socially withdrawn, depressed, and miserable. Especially troubling are the young children who suffer this condition without their parents or care-givers even knowing about it.

Over the years that we have worked in the hearing protection business we have heard heart-breaking stories from our customers and their families of the problems caused by ANS. We are told about children who simply cannot endure the sounds in their classrooms at school, leading to all manner of antisocial behaviors. Adults who have been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease or Hyperacusis, tell us their lives are hell on earth because specific frequencies, or all frequencies in many cases, cause them to clap their hands over their ears to block the ordinary sounds we all encounter daily, because they are too painful to endure.

Children who suffer ANS often include those with Autism spectrum disorders, as well as ADD and ADHD. To the children with ANS, their experiences are akin to the rest of the kids trying to do their work with a rock and roll band playing at full volume, or the sound of fingernails scraping across the blackboard. It is no wonder that so many of these children act out in school, or fail to achieve due to "poor concentration." I know how poorly I would do at concentrating if a rock band was blasting away nearby! It is hard to write with both hands over you ears.


Sponsored by Ear Plug Superstore, Copyright 2014.