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I hear every single noise so loudly and I cannot filter any out.
There is always back ground noise but so often people’s brains will automatically filter out what isn’t needed.
So lights whirring would be filtered out, a ticking clock and background music would be filtered out. Plus so much more.
Imagine all the noises in any situation and none of them are filtered out and they’re all painfully loud, in fact it is like every single noise is right in your ear canal and one massive overwhelming scream constantly.
Even in a room with not much noise, I will be able to hear so much.
In my flat I can hear the ticking clock, whirring fridge, every hum of lights and it is all very loud. It all becomes one large sound.
Ask me to differentiate between them all and it would be severely difficult, give me time and space and I might be able to work it out, but only with extreme concentration and energy.
It isn’t a surprise then that I severely struggle to hear others, this is part of my APD, not being able to filter out any back ground noise. When you add SPD to it and the sounds become so loud and intense and painful I just want to turn the worlds volume down by about 85%!
I often wear noise cancelling head phones or ear plugs. They can help to reduce the loudness of everything and things can be a little bit more manageable for a little longer, but it can still be very hard to cope with noise. They can reduce the volume of background noise, but they also reduce the volume of what I am trying to hear.
Often one of the worst situations is with a group of people and there are several different conversations going on at once and all these voices merge into one big sound and I cannot hear what anyone is saying.
Often I will just stay out of the conversation or sometimes someone may try to explain bits of what is going on, but so often I have no idea, so I find it easier to just not try to get involved.
The one area where I find my hearing is good at picking out individual sounds and where I want it loud is with classical music.
I’ve been surrounded by music since I was a few months old, learning instruments from a very young age and reading music became a kind of second language to me.
When listening to classical music the louder the better, and i can usually always pick out all the different instruments.
Maybe because over the years from playing in local groups to playing in the national youth wind orchestra and then to studying at the royal northern college of music I have been trained to listen particularly and to be able to pick out all the different instrument sounds.
Listening to classical music loudly is awesome.
The rest of the world though needs to have its volume turned right down, because it is painfully loud and it causes regular sensory overloads and meltdowns.