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    sensitive hearing
    kneasha posted:
    is it common for people with ADD to have very acute hearing, I am bothered by little sounds, like gum chewing, sniffing, tapping, clicking of pens and finger nails.
    Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Dear Kneasha,

    My daughter has ADHD, but she does not have better hearing than average. What she does have is an ability to focus more closely on 'little things' that annoy her, to the point where they can become magnified out of proportion. Perhaps that is what you're experiencing?

    I hope other members will answer, because it's a very interesting question!

    Yours in health,

    sandie_law responded:
    Many people with ADHD are sensitive to sound, touch, smell, etc. I get really annoyed by little things just like you. It's a pain since my son's hyperactivity tends to come in the form of tapping, fidgeting, and general noise making activities.

    I try to acknowledge that the sound is there and that it's bothering me. If it's reasonable to ask the noise maker to stop, I do. If not, I try to remove myself from the situation or pop in earphones so I can listen to music instead.

    I don't think it's that my hearing is any better than anyone else's. I think it's more that I don't filter out the unnecessary sounds. Most people can tune out a lot of their surroundings, but people with ADHD tend to focus on everything. It's ironic that it's called an attention deficit, when it's really more of an attention overload. Either way, I think that's the problem - no filter.
    CatADD responded:
    I've read a few books on ADHD and they all mention that people with ADHD are more sensitive than other people. It's not that we have better hearing, it's that we can't filter out background noise the way other people can. I find rhythmic or repetitive noises, like water dripping, to be more distracting than people talking.
    hyperallison responded:
    I notice those sounds a lot, too, which is why I play instrumental music at work to drown all of that out and to provide that stimulation. The music helps me to focus a lot, otherwise, I get distracted by all the noises around me, people walking by outside (even though I'm on the second floor), people two offices away, my clock ticking.
    sb1958 responded:
    It's funny....I don't think I actually hear better than others, but certain things annoy me more like noise at work. Everything is close together and it can get to be a pretty high stim environment [ie. TV noise, music noise, people noise>. I always find myself needing to compensate by at least partially closing my door, making myself a little less immediately accessible to others, in order to decrease my own distraction. I find myself growing impatient with others who are particularly noisy [including staff!>.
    barclayb responded:
    I've had super-sensitivity to noises since childhood, especially chewing sounds, gum popping, and clattery noises, like someone doing dishes. Dr. Amen, in Healing ADD. mentions that it's common for us to be annoyed by chewing sounds. That was such a relief to me, to see that in print, after feeling like a freak about it most of my life. (I also got my hearing tested, and it's normal plus a little better than average for high frequencies.)

    I asked some friends who have kids with Aspergers for suggestions. Sensory Integration is the kind of therapy that applies - not sure how well it works but I've been trying things for the past few months and am seeing an Occupational Therapist for this and think my sensitivities are lessening a little. Some of the suggestions ...

    - swinging (weird, huh? apparently vestibular issues are part of this) - sucking thick liquids through a straw - Samonas, a noise-sensitivity therapy that involves listening to specific CDs through special headphones (trying this through occupational therapy)

    Also, there's a book called The Highly Sensitive Person that's very reaffirming for sensitive people. It has some exercises - I should do them.

    You can try searching online for Sensory Integration - a lot of the info is geared to treating kids (I was lucky to find an OT who treats adults, it seems that they're rare in the Seattle area).

    I'm also taking GABA and gabapentin to help with my irritability around this sensitivity. Not sure if they're helping.
    barclayb responded:
    p.s. These issues are also common with Aspergers and Autism, and there are some books that address ADD, Aspergers, and Autism together (I just noticed that there were some titles with all 3 and didn't delve further) - interesting that they may be linked. I guess all three have social skill issues as a component.
    surrounded73ok responded:

    I know EXACTLY how this feels. I actually have an incredibly strong emotional and physical reaction to some sounds. Chewing, smacking - pretty much any "mouth" noise and sniffling or snorting.

    You might try searching "sound sensitivity" or hyperacusis. My entire family thinks I'm outta my mind and that I'm being nit-picky. If I reacted without thinking when it occurs I'm pretty sure I'd have punched someone in the mouth by now. Or worse, since it tends to happen most at the dining table, where there are forks & knives... Not that I would ever stab someone, my point is that the impulse is there and I am - luckily - aware of it and just leave the table if that is what it takes to deal with it.

    From the little information I've been able to find, it's not an ability to hear better, it's hearing differently. As if there's not enough "differently" going on already with ADD???
    fabpat replied to surrounded73ok's response:
    On occasion - my ears actually hurt when sounds are loud and high pitched. (Usually I can tell when noise is just bothering me and I'm being hypersensitive to sound.) My ears actually hurting is new . I don't like it and don't know how to stop the pain. Has anyone else experienced this and do you have any suggestions/words of wisdom?
    merrithann replied to CatADD's response:
    I really understand the part you mention about not being able to filter out background noise . When I am out anywhere trying to have a conversation or enjoy dinner so forth I hear every single persons conversation around me and it drives me CRAZY . I can hear whispers in other rooms the tv when i am in the back of the house anything out side and my husband says I have bionic ears and I need to turn them down. I can also smell everything
    LivingInAJar responded:
    Im really glad I am not the only one who has this problem. Mine occurs mostly with sniffing and snorting. I can literally single out the sound in an instant. One time, and I try and find the person its coming from. Then it bothers me until I remove myself from the situation. This has become really difficult pertaining to be in class. I cannot focus on schoolwork because of how much the sounds distracts me. I can hear it in classes of 200 or classes of 20. When I go out to crowded places, I can still here it. Even not in school it bothers me. I cannot enjoy going to the movies, or out to eat. I really want to alleviate it. Im going to try all of the suggested things on here. I would love to go to a doctor, but I dont have insurance.
    idontknow12345 responded:
    have been diagnosed with ADHD and i do have acute hearing but it doesn't bother me like little things as chewing gum or stuff like that, i just... know every noise that's around me. not only hearing but my smell is strong too, i have the sense of smell that a pregnant woman does, also my eye sight is very good i can read things very far off. These are all thing that i haven't notice myself until one of my friends has pointed out. they can see the thing i can hear but not hear it(as in a plane or something like that), they smell what i can smell at half as close, and my friends with 20/20 vision can't read what i can from distantes and i have 25/30 according to the doctor
    jules0717 replied to idontknow12345's response:
    I am the same way and have ADD. As I'm typing this, I have one co-worker clearing her throat every 30 seconds and another co-worker drinking out of a glass with ice and the ice clinking against the glass is driving me bonkers!!!
    ALC36 responded:
    I have the same problem and never thought it had anything to do with ADD, now I see I'm not the only one who has sensitive hearing. The TV is always too loud, people cracking knuckles, any type of useless noise, and loud talkers are my main issues. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

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