Noise Sensitivity –The Challenges of Living With Hyperacusis
When most people talk about noise sensitivity they often think of simply an annoyance to specific noises. But noise sensitivity can be an extremely painful and a huge disabling challenge for many sufferers. I know as I began suffering from a severe form of hyperacusis over the last three years, which has made me mostly housebound.
As someone who is highly empathic and sensitive, I have slight noise sensitivity as long as I can remember. I always had challenges sleeping with even the slightest noise around me. But this started to become a much bigger problem when it developed into a painful and debilitating severe form of hyperacusis. Specific frequencies began to trigger extreme pain in my right ear, major balance issue and a complex movement disorder including non-epileptic seizures that leaves me with no control over my body.
My noise sensitivity issues appear to be caused by at least 30 years of bacterial/viral implications. But the cause is not clear with a complex medical history; M.E./CFS, suspected untreated chronic lyme at 14 years of age, head and face trauma, a rare cranial condition and survivor of sepsis. Although according to Anthony Williams book the Medical Medium Many of these neurotoxicity symptoms are simply the fourth stage of very a rare form of Epstein Barr Virus. But I am unsure if I will ever know for sure.
However the reality is noise sensitivity seems to be triggered by a variety of causes, diseases, accidents, trauma and stressors. Sound intolerance also appears to be a common problem in those who are highly sensitive or have sensory processing disorders. Many clinicians used to assume noise sensitivity has a purely psychological basis. But more research and evidence is demonstrating many of the physiological causes behind various types of noise sensitivity.
Noise sensitivity challenges are very common for those with sensory processing challenges on the Autism/Asperger Spectrum. Which can seriously impact their quality of daily living, education and their careers.
Noise sensitivity is something that is certainly misunderstood and misdiagnosed by many medical practitioners. Especially as there is so many different classifications and causes of sound sensitivity.
Here Are Some Of The Different Types Of Noise Sensitivity
Hyperacusis – is usually linked with amplified sensitivity or auditory increase in the central auditory system which is the hearing pathways of the brain. A “collapsed tolerance to normal environmental sound” The Hyperacusis Network. It is suggested that unexpected exposure to deafening noise can sometimes trigger hyperacusis. But there are some medical conditions associated with hyperacusis which include Bell’s palsy, Lyme disease, migraine, post head injury syndrome and William’s syndrome. Also many people with hyperacusis have tinnitus and many with tinnitus have hyperacusis.
There are two forms of hyperacusis; cochlear hyperacusis and vestibular hyperacusis
Cochlear Hyperacusis; annoyance, distress, ear pain and to very quiet or high-pitched sounds.
Vestibular Hyperacusis; balance, postural control and vertigo problems, nausea, fatigue. Known sometimes as Audiogenic Seizure Disorder and Tullio’s syndrome
Hypersensitive Hearing – where someone is born with a hyper sensitivity to frequencies above 70 decibels normally viewed as problematic frequencies. This is common in the autism spectrum.
Misophonia – is when someone hates a particular sound but it is not collapsed tolerance to sound. Usually there is an atypical limbic and autonomic nervous system response ( fight or flight response) which is related to the auditory system. Examples are repetitive sounds, consonants, sniffing, lip smacking which can often trigger emotional rage.
Phonophobia – is a sub-category of misophonia where one suffers anxiety/fear of events related to their noise sensitivity. Which triggers isolation in the outside world.
Recruitment – is when there is an increased perception of noise sensitivity when someone is suffering from a type of hearing loss where they cannot hear certain pitches but can hear others. Which is perceived as too quiet to dramatically loud.
Treatments And Support For Noise Sensitivity Issues
Ear Plugs or Ear Phones: For most types of noise sensitivity challenges recommendations are that ear plugs should not be relied on for day to day living. As there is suggestions that in the long run this may reduce tolerance to every day sounds. But it certainly would depend on the type and degree of noise sensitivity. I personally do not use ear plugs in my home doing most tasks. But because my noise sensitivity triggers severe balance challenges and a violent movement disorder. I choose to use ear phones outside otherwise I have very limited control over my bodily movements.
Noise Cancellation Ear Phones: Some people find noise cancellation useful, I find for long car drives they can cancel out and reduce some noise and can help reduce general over stimulation.
Pink Noise Devices: For some types of noise sensitivity pink noise devices are used as a form of sound therapy.
Meditation– helps you access that inner calm, peace inside despite what is happening around you. It helps you become more mentally, emotionally and physically resilient. Meditation has helped keep me so mentally strong over the last 25 years. It has helped me find my own equivalent to a power nap, when I can’t sleep due to noise issues.
Craniosacral Therapy – can be helpful where there has been noise sensitivity after trauma to the head and neck. Also bowen and osteopathy is useful for again alignment issues due to trauma.
Healthier Thinking – it is important with any condition or life challenge that a person has the ability to look at their life challenges and focus on what they can do, rather than what we feel disabled by.
Stress Management – generally reducing and manging your anxiety and stress can seriously help reduce any hyper sensitivity to external stimuli. And can be a great cushion at helping you remain as emotionally, mentally and physically strong against noise stressors.
CBD Oil: Cannabis derived oil and paste is used by many who’s noise sensitivity appears to be related to their medical conditions. It is widely uses by lymes and now more popular in ME/CFS sufferers.Many people with noise sensitivity issues including those with sensory processing issues seem to be benefiting from CBD or marijuana in some component.
On Guard Blend: Another product that I have found helpful in my building my sound tolerance is the essential oil blend by doTERRA . These are highly vibrational essential oils which appear to strengthen our energetic boundaries, boost the immune system and protect our body against viruses and microbes.
These are just some of the ways you can help manage your noise sensitivity issues. If like me travelling in a car is a huge problem because you can actually feel a lot of vibrations through the nerves of your body. I find sitting and placing my feet on memory foam cushions and a duvet helps to cushion me from the impact. Some cars are more better than others in relation to the seat and height design
I am fortunate enough to start seeing slowly but surely a reduction in the severity of my symptoms. Having lived with chronic health challenges that have disabled me in various ways for many years. I choose to focus daily on my abilities, strengths and gifts. I am very fortunate to be able to do my work online. Although it can have its challenges.
But when we focus on the things we can change and accept those we can’t. We come from a much stronger, calm and happier place. Noise sensitivity can be extremely challenging, it needs more research/awareness especially on the actual conditions that cause it.But meanwhile the healthiest thing you can do is look after your own health and wellbeing, especially your anxiety and stress levels. As anxiety and stress will certainly make you more hyper-sensitive .
If you are looking for help and support in managing your sensitivity challenges. I share lots of tips and resources in my free facebookcommunity Soul Care For Sensitives
Essential Oils For Empaths And Highly Sensitive People
The many benefits of essential oils for empaths, highly sensitive people and healers. As a qualified aromatherapist for many years in many ways, I take for granted how versatile essential oils are. As I have used essential oils for nearly 30 years to support my own physical, mental and emotional well-being.
But what are some of the best blends and essential oils for empaths and HSP’s?
Essential Oils For Health And Healthy Boundaries
There are so many essential oils for empaths to choose from today, it is important you choose the right essential oil that is therapeutically safe and right for you.
Many people assume all essential oils are completely safe because they are natural but like every herb or essence each has unique properties and effects so it is important to choose essential oils suited to your specific needs.
Some essential oils have analgesic or anti-inflammatory properties, some like peppermint which is used in mainstream medicine can be a digest aid. Some essential oils like tea-tree and thyme have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
But pure essential oils don’t just support us physically, but mentally and emotionally. Essential oils like Clary Sage and Geranium are used to help balance hormonal imbalances in females. Some are safe when you are pregnant some are not, some are unsafe if you suffer from epilepsy, and some essential oils should never be used on children or infants.
Quality Essential Oils For Empaths And Highly Sensitive People
If you are using essential oils therapeutically you also want to choose a high-grade quality pure essential oil especially if your are highly sensitive and/or empathic.
Highly Sensitive People tend to be not just sensitive emotionally and mentally but physically to both allopathic and natural medicine. Empaths often struggle with grounding and often have a much porous energetic field. So it is important if you are an aromatherapist to choose high grade quality essential oils for empaths and highly sensitive people.
As someone with rare and chronic health challenges for over 30 years, essential oils have been an essential part of my health and self-care. I have found essential oils a great replacement for so many allopathic treatments normally in one’s medicine cabinet.
In fact recently as someone who became completely housebound due to extreme noise, vibration, and light sensitivity which would trigger seizures. I was looking for anything to support me after Neurologists told me nothing could be done and any medication would cause further complications.
But when I started to use a variety of Doterra’s high vibrational essential oils including the product On Guard which I mention below. I couldn’t believe how much physically stronger and more energetically resilient and boundaried I become.
Those of us who are more sensitive and or empathic tend to have a more finely tuned sensory and central nervous system. Which can make us much more vulnerable to a variety of environmental stressors such as EMF Electro Magnetic Frequency, noise, light, other people’s emotions, trauma, and physical pain.
Essentials Oils For Empaths Who Are Hyper Sensitive
As someone who has had rare neurological complications from suspected bacterial and viral complications for approx 30 years. I have used a wide range of high-quality essential oils and blends. One that has been really supporting me energetically and as a support to my immune system has been the On Guard Blend. Which instantly made me feel more energetically stronger and protected.
So What Are The Perfect Essential Oils For Empaths And HSPs?
Balance – The Ultimate Grounding Blend– A blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, and Blue Chamomile with Fractionated Coconut Oil. Empath and HSP struggle to feel grounded. This can be added directly to the skin or added to a diffuser for cars, homes, and the office. Frankincense is deeply grounding and Spruce was used by the Native Americans for various spiritual and medicinal purposes ( spruce tree regarded as sacred)
Frankincense – is deeply relaxing, calming very popular to assist meditation, and deeply grounding. Also helpful in supporting healthy cellular function and great rejuvenator for the skin. So it is one of the most commonly used nurturing essential oils for empaths and hsp’s.
Melaleuca (Tea Tree) – is an extremely versatile oil for your home first aid kit. It is also an anti-viral, anti-bacterial oil, that supports the immune system. It is also useful for creating stronger boundaries
On Guard – Can help support your immune system. Can help strengthen and protect your energetic field to create stronger energetic boundaries. and psychic protection especially if you are a healer or some sort of lightworker. So is one of the popular blends with empaths and sensitives. Helpful to protect against environmental threats. Safe for use on countertops, as a non-toxic cleaner, or to purify the air through diffusion
Oregano –Very powerful for boundaries and can help stop parasitic energy. Can assist with healthy digestion and supports healthy respiratory function. May help support a healthy immune system. Useful as a powerful cleansing and purifying agent.
Patchouli Essential Oil– Provides a grounding, balancing effect on emotions • Promotes a smooth, glowing complexion • Add to your daily moisturizer to help reduce the appearance of blemishes.
Purify –Protects against environmental threats such as EMFs and toxins. Can help clear the air and negative, stagnant energy in your home.
Sandalwood – is another favourite pure essential oil of mine, deeply grounding, and great for the skin. For those of us who tend to avoid or reject our masculine energy. This can be a great balancer, it can also be useful as a soothing rub on the chest or neck with chest and throat infections.
Serenity Restful Blend – can be a useful aid for those struggling with anxiety, stress, and overthinking. It also can help you connect more with the self, and connect with your own inner calm. So great aid for those of you who struggle to meditate, be still.
Whisper Blend For Women– a gorgeous blend of jasmine and ylang-ylang ( I adore ylang ylang) patchouli, vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa. Useful to support any unresolved issues you may have with your femininity, mother, grandmother, or other close women figure in your life. Useful at helping ease unreleased anger.
Wild Orange – one of Doterra’s most popular oils, this has a gorgeous sweet scent. It is uplifting, energising, and stimulating. Helpful when you are feeling flat from others’ negative emotions.
Ylang Ylang – I have always been a huge fan of ylang-ylang which is known by some as the oil of the Inner Child. As a qualified aromatherapist, I would recommend it to clients who suffered from nightmares. I find it helps support you to have a much more soothing sleep often with sweet dreams. It is also a reputed aphrodisiac.
So why does the Highly Sensitive Empath Need To Ground More? How is grounding so soothing and important for Empaths, HSP’s and Lightworkers?
As a Highly Sensitive Empath, it took me many years to realise how ungrounded I was. Despite being a healer for 30 years, I didn’t start to fully appreciate the true level of grounding and why I struggled with it till my 40’s.
Now, grounding may sound like a lot of new-age hippy nonsense. But the reality is grounding and earthing is part of our innate nature. We are humans whose natural habitat is the earth. And part of being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually balanced involves being connected to our nature, our natural surroundings, and to the earth.
What are Grounding And Earthing?
Basically grounding and earth involves different acts or habits that will naturally help you “ground” or reconnect you to the earth and nature. Grounding is actually something we would naturally do years ago. But sadly a lot of modern life especially city and town living has played a large part in disconnecting us from something that at a core level is innate.
The Highly Sensitive Empath In The Modern Environment
The truth is we all need to ground more especially when we are surrounded by technology, metal, concrete, toxic, plastic, and manmade fabrics. When we are exposed daily to high amounts of Electro-Magnetic Frequencies which contain damaging free radicals and positive electrons. Instead of natural fresh air, bright vitamin boosting sunlight
But for the Highly Sensitive Empath and many lightworkers, the modern environment and way of life can be extremely harsh. Many HSP’s and most empaths are so sensitive to their surroundings, the energy of others and to the external world, they are often not fully grounded in their body.
I know as an Empath and Highly Sensitive Person I was very different from my 8 siblings. Very sensitive to all sorts of things from a young age that dramatically increased at certain stages in my life. My heightened awareness of other people’s needs and emotions, even trauma made me more out of my energy field in some ways than in.
Even though I do work online I find too much EMF exposure can play havoc with my central nervous system at times. And find too much noise and busyness extremely physically and mentally exhausting. You just need to look at a child with sensory processing issues to see how much they are challenged by our chaotic toxic crazy life. A reason why we should be teaching children to ground more.
Why Highly Sensitive Empaths Are More Easily Stimulated And Uncentred
The highly sensitive person especially those that are empathic are already more hypersensitive to everything around them. They often struggle with too much sensory processing, get easily overstimulated, and can pick up and be more sensitive to the energy and frequencies around them. Many find the harsher energies and reality of modern-day living quite frantic and some overwhelming and traumatic. This is especially evident in many children who have serious sensory processing issues with autism. This busy crazy chaotic life is often too overwhelming for the physical, mental, and emotional body. And often in these experiences, the body want’s to like climb out of the energetic body, which leaves them ungrounded. Many HSP’s suffer from chronic anxiety and stress.
The Highly Sensitive Empath And Burn Out
In-fact many highly sensitive empaths end up easily some burn-out, some end up with CFS or Adrenal Fatigue, or other chronic health challenges.
The Highly Sensitive Person who is ungrounded is more likely to suffer from exhaustion especially Adrenal Fatigue or other chronic health challenges. I myself was diagnosed with severe M.E. in my early twenties, a time in my life when this debilitating fatigue and exhaustion left me predominately housebound and bedbound for about 7 years.
Now years later my diagnosis would be not just M.E. but a whole long list of other complex medical challenges including a high probability of late-stage Lyme.
But the reality is many Empaths and HSP’s are so finely tuned to their environment they are high-wired to function at a completely different level as other people, In many ways, their central nervous system is working so much harder. They are far more vulnerable to exhaustion, fatigue, dis-ease especially for the empath with boundary issues. If you are a bit of an unruly empath you will constantly be picking up and even taking on the emotional and physical wounding of others.
So How Can A Highly Sensitive Empath Ground More
Get outside more especially in nature, the countryside, forest, park even walking in some grass
Get barefoot as much as you can, get those shoes, boots even slippers off
Become more body aware, feel into your physical body, feel into your feet. Tai chi and Qi Gong exercises can be a great way to become fully in the body and become more grounded. They can also be extremely useful at helping empaths dispel negative energy they tend to absorb or take on.
Bring more plants into your surrounding, your office, your home, your garden, things like cacti and other EMF reducing plants. These are great to sit next to your computer to help reduce EMF exposure
Use grounding devices and grounding support aids, I use an electric bed to keep slightly upright in bed which is certainly not ideal. So I use a crystal grounding mat in my bed and grounding crystals under my bed.
Reduce stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol, nicotine these play havoc with your central nervous system and impact your ability to feel more balanced and grounded.
Learn to be in the moment, being in the moment encourages you to be more physically in and aware of your physical body. This is especially important for people with any sort of physical trauma to their body, car accident, traumatic operation, long-term physical violence. The last place people with those sorts of issues want to be is in their body because of the pain or shock but this causes huge emotional disharmony in the mental, emotional, and energetic body.
Learn To Meditate; meditation not only helps us be in the moment, feel calmer, but can help us feel more grounded especially if it is more proper traditional meditation rather than more guided meditations that are actually more guided visualisations where the person is in their head or heart, often out of their physical body.
As someone who has had extreme challenges around being grounded and fully in my body. I have spent nearly 30 years looking for answers and help to many of my challenges. I found that many of the grounding techniques that as I was taught as a healer just didn’t work for me.
So as I started to study this topic a lot more deeply working with many top healers around the world. I quickly realised that grounding has to be the or at least one of the first skills Empaths need to master. Especially today when we are so disconnected from nature and balance.
That is why I created Grounding Tools for Empaths– a grounding toolkit for empaths and highly sensitive people. Powerful yet simple and easy grounding techniques, essential oils, crystals that will help you feel more grounded and balanced on a daily basis. Which is also part of the Gold and Quantum level of the Lightworkers Portal see below