People suffering from noise anxiety show an extreme sensitivity to noise. The type of noise varies for individuals. But the effect of the noise is the same. It causes the person to suffer from severe emotional distress, which worsens without proper therapy.
Some people are more prone to develop noise anxiety than others. Some develop this condition due to genetics while for others the cause is still unknown. The onset of this condition can develop suddenly especially when there is an increase in the amount of stress that the person experiences.
If you suspect someone to have noise anxiety, take note of the following symptoms. It is important to remember that people with noise anxiety may not present with all of the symptoms mentioned below.
- Examine how the person reacts to loud music. Does he seem edgy or panicky when there are loud sounds in the background? Does he seem agitated or uneasy when there is noise in the background? Is he calmer if the music is turned off? Is he less stressed in a more quiet environment?
- How is the person around people? Does he stay away from people who talk loudly? Does he avoid arguments all together? Does he prefer areas with less people?
- What kind of environment does the person work in? Does he perform better in a quiet as compared to a noisy environment? Is it easier for him to focus and finish his work when there is no noise in the background?
- Be wary of any sudden changes in behavior or mood. These sudden changes are due to the sounds that the person is exposed to. A person with noise anxiety maintains his calm in an environment where distractions or noise are kept to a minimum then suddenly becomes uneasy or even aggressive when loud sounds are played in the background.
- Observe carefully for any type of noise, which triggers his attacks. The type of noise is called a trigger, and is usually sudden and unexpected. These triggers are often unique to the individual. When a person hears this trigger, he suddenly becomes anxious and uneasy. Some of the common cited sources of noise anxiety are animal sounds, busy streets, appliances or machinery, alarms, loud conversations, and car horns. Once the trigger has been identified, he can prevent attacks by avoiding the triggers or minimizing his exposure to them.
Identifying symptoms of noise anxiety requires careful observation. But the rewards are great once the triggers are identified. Some of the gadgets that can be used to decrease the noise exposure include earplugs and noise canceling earphones. These two gadgets diminish the background noise. An added benefit for the earphones is that a more soothing, soft music can be played to calm the person down. However, these gadgets should not be used solely to treat noise anxiety. It is best to seek therapy so that the person suffering from noise anxiety can cope with stress, resolve issues, and handle situations better.