Is you or someone you know suffering with noise sensitivity following a head injury? Noise sensitivity and tinnitus are common hearing disturbances following a concussion. In one study published in 2003, noise sensitivity after concussion was found in 50% to 60% of collegiate football players highlighting the debilitating nature of this symptom. Below are 5 ways to help cope with noise sensitivity. We hope it helps!
1. Redirect your attention
If possible, switch your focus from the pain of noise to something else that requires extreme focus but that’s enjoyable for you. Do some problem-solving and make a plan for the next time noise intrudes in your life. It can be helpful to plan with a family member or friend so they can help to re-direct your attention away from the disturbing noise.
2. Know your triggers
Understanding what sets you off can help you to avoid these situations. Noise-canceling headphones or earbuds can help to eliminate unwanted noise or listen to something more pleasant. Incorporate some white noise into your environment—use a white noise machine or install a white noise app on your smartphone, have the TV or radio on softly in the background to help acclimate your hearing.
3. Decide on a plan of action
It is important to have a plan before the pain of the noise starts. Decide on a plan of action if you find yourself in an intolerable situation—be prepared to leave a movie theatre, restaurant or social gathering without feeling embarrassed.
4. Establish “quiet zones”
Create a designated area in your home where you know there can be silence. Look for safe environments in social settings you can retreat to like the outdoors. Having backup plans such as a library, a quiet park, or a place of worship can be helpful in mitigating overwhelming situations.
5. Check your state of mind
When sounds are starting to bother you, analyze where you are mood-wise and how you are feeling. Practice deep breathing techniques and other mood regulating processes to reduce sensory overload and help you gain control of a noise sensitive anxious state of mind.