Ligyrophobia: The Fear of Noise

Definition of Ligyrophobia or the fear of noise. This article discusses the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this phobia.

Ligyrophobia is an overwhelming, irrational fear of noise. While all of us are startled and jump, in response to a sharp, sudden noise, the ligyrophobic individual may be intensely fearful. The person impacted with Ligyrophobia may actively avoid any situation that might result in being exposed to noise. In its extreme form, the ligyrophobic person may withdraw completely from all social contact in order to avoid noise.

Ligyrophobia is sometimes referred to as Phonophobia and/or Acousticophobia.

What Causes Ligyrophobia?

As with all phobias, the person coping with Ligyrophobia has experienced a trauma at some point in their life. That traumatic event is then consistently and automatically associated with noise, especially loud and sudden noise.

Maybe, as a child, the ligyrophobic individual, for whatever reason, was purposefully and repeatedly exposed to loud, sudden noises. Perhaps this person has an underlying medical condition that remains undiagnosed, but has resulted in a hypersensitivity to noise. Maybe the person impacted by Ligyrophobia watched the response of others when confronted with noise and simply learned to imitate that reaction.

What Are the Symptoms of Ligyrophobia?

The symptoms of Ligyrophobia are individual and will vary among people. Some people, when confronted with their fear of noise, may begin to perspire, feel slightly uncomfortable or become nauseated. At the opposite end of the spectrum, other people are so severely compromised by this phobia, that they may experience crippling anxiety and/or panic attacks.

Other symptoms of Ligyrophobia may include:

  • A Dry Mouth
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Numbness
  • Heightened Senses
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Muscle Tension
  • Hyperventilation
  • Trembling
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Feeling Out of Control
  • Feeling Trapped and Unable to Escape
  • Intense Feeling of Impending Disaster

How Is Ligyrophobia Diagnosed?

The vast majority of cases of Ligyrophobia are self-diagnosed. The individual realizes that their fear of noise is irrational and is severely limiting their ability to function on a daily basis.

The ligyrophobic person may discuss their phobia with the primary physician. Rarely would the doctor diagnosis Ligyrophobia based on that initial discussion with the patient. More routinely, after ruling out any medical reason for this phobia, the doctor will refer the person to a mental health professional for comprehensive assessment and evaluation.

How Is Ligyrophobia Treated?

When the fear of noise becomes intense enough to disrupt an individual’s ability to function, there are a number of ways to treat Ligyrophobia.

These can include:

  • A referral from the primary physician to a therapist who specializes in the treatment of phobias.
  • Traditional “talk” therapy that will teach the person to recognize and control their phobia.
  • Hypnotherapy.
  • Exposure Therapy.
  • Self-help techniques such as purposeful muscle relaxation.
  • Support groups with other people who are coping with this specific phobia.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Desensitization Therapy.
  • Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and visualization.
  • In severe cases of Ligyrophobia, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed.

Ligyrophobia is an intense, irrational fear of noise. Sometimes that fear can become so overwhelming as to completely halt a person’s ability to function on a daily basis. Unchecked, Ligyrophobia can become a debilitating condition that interferes with an individual’s personal life, their social life and job responsibilities. Untreated, Ligyrophobia can have a devastating impact on every aspect of a person’s life.

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  1. One more thing is that when you are at a place where loud sounds are generated (say a pyrotechnic show), you tend to get nervous and close your ears tightly.. Sudden sounds startle you like anything and then the anxiety that is caused when you anticipate further loud bangs – Gosh that’s worse.. Now this, in a social interaction, may embarrass one to the extent that he/she may never want to socialize again. It’s a pretty bad situation you know.. I’ve had a lot of medication and counselling to get rid of my fear but all in vain. Talks and relaxation techniques hardly have an impact on me. It would be great if something more than a mere counselling is available to treat this phobia.

  2. I wanted to let Murali know that you are not alone. I can totally relate to what you are saying. I avoid all situations involving fireworks, firecrackers and balloons if possible. I hate gunshots in stage plays and am very nervous if I know the plotline may involve gunshots. The people around me must think I’m crazy because of all of the jumping and ear plugging. I try to work around it because I don’t want to miss out on some entertainment venues but it can be really nerve racking. I tried hypnosis once but it was useless. I don’t think anything can be done frankly…just have to live with it.

  3. i am exactly the same. the one that really bugs me is fire drills at school. usually i get panic attacks and get nauseous and eventually throw up. i always thought i was the only one. thanks a lot guys.

  4. that makes four of us I guess. I have this phobia since the age of three and I have been living with it ever since. I avoid places with firecrackers, and I haven’t been to church at easter time because of firecrackers. I have the exact symptoms that Tincup describes and I hate gunshots. The worst is when someone blows up a balloon or when a child is holding a balloon and playing around with it. Now that Easter is on the way I am preparing myself for another lonely Easter ceremony just waiting for my family to return home and have the traditional meal. The skyfireworks don’t bother me as much especially when I know the time they will be popped in the sky. So with my ears already shut I am ok and I enjoy it. I am 26 years old and I really want to get over this. I have heard about hypnotherapy even though it would be good I think to start facing it slowly slowly. However, our phobia is not easy to handle because you need to face it when you least expect it! Claustrophobic people for example have the CHOICE not to enter a small room or an elevator. We don’t have that choice because a loud sudden sound can occur anywhere anytime. If you have any ideas on how to confront this please share them with me. I want to get over this. thanks :)

  5. hi i am now taking pills for anti anxiety. they are helping somewhat and i am going to therapy. ask your doctor about pills

  6. I hate to be one of the victim of this symptom (or disease?)!
    Even looking at those cute balloons makes me feel very very very scared – that it’ll “pop!”. :( Even those air guns (the ones that don’t produce [too] loud noise) can get me scared a lot in no time… actually I guess just any “abnormal” sound.

  7. It is very comforting to know I am not the only one with this terrible issue. Mine seems to have gotten worse over the years. I am now 26. I spend every 4th of July at the movie theaters to avoid the possibility of neighbors setting off fireworks. I also fear thunderstorms which really cannot be avoided. I am supposed to be going to Disney World for the 4th of July this year and am dreading it. What if all the shows have pyrotechnics? None of my friends know about my issue. I try so hard to hide it. I don’t even want to tell my doctor. It is so embarrassing for me. Are the non-prescription drugs that someone could recommend? I wish I could have any other fear than this one. I hate any element of surprise because I fear there will be a loud noise involved. I also love seeing shows. I saw the Elvis Cirque du Soleil in Vegas last week. In the opening number, there were pyrotechnics. For the rest of the show, I was nervous to the point I wanted to leave (and it ended up that they didn’t do anymore, but I was in fear the whole time). I try to live life to the fullest, but this has been a horrible burden in my life. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  8. It is comforting to know that there are other people out there with the same condition. It has been an embarrassing burden for me my entire life. I never new there was an actual name for it. Fireworks, guns, balloons, Harley’s…they all have the same terrible effect. The funny thing is I play drums in rock bands and that doesnt bother me at all. The only thing that I have found that helps is to buy a good pair of ear plugs and take them with you when you know you will be at events where loud noises may occur. sells really good ones that are low profile so they’re not very noticable, and they come with a case you can put on your keychain and always have them with you.

  9. Thanks Sean for sharing that website – I will definitely be ordering some!! It’s funny how loud music and concerts don’t bother me at all. It’s just the unexpected loud noises that really cause my anxiety.

  10. Hey everyone thanks a lot for letting me know i’m not the only one with this curse. its actually worse for me because i live in India where they celebrate a festival called diwali and burst those crackers 24×7 for two days. i mean two whole days is just too much!!!!! I was close to a heart attack the last few years and my dad refuses to make my room soundproof because he’s not takin it seriously(even though i’m 19). And Sean, i’m a drummer in a rock band too and it doesn’t affect me because i know when the sound is gonna come.

  11. Wow I suffer from this \”obscure\” phobia mightily. I hate balloons with a passion, gunshot sounds are torturous (one reason I would never join the military). I avoid going to see firework shows, watching action movies in theater are always jumpy and intense experiences. I often plug my ears with my fingers when nobody around me does that.

  12. Hi Ronnie
    I am Sneha. I have also the same kind of Phobia. Can we have a chat?
    Tell me your Email ID.

  13. I am actually going to Disneyworld. I am doing the earplug and headphones bit to make it at least normal for me. I shall see what happens. But i’m glad there are more people that have the same common phobia.

  14. Hey everyone!!! Its very comforting knowing I am not the only who is afraid of loud noises. Since I was a child I would have panic attacks of hearing fireworks or even a just seeing a balloon. No one in my family would believe that there is anything wrong with me. I felt hopeless. I was wondering if you guys could suggest some good earphones or ways you deal with the noise? It would be really helpful.

  15. I have live with this phobia all of my life. I am 32 years old and have been in fear to go to birthday parties because of the chance I will see balloons and be embarrassed by plugging my ears as soon as someone touches one. My own children have never been allowed to play with balloons in my house or have parties with balloons. I come from a family of hunter’s and would love to shoot a gun, but can’t because I cripple in fear of the noise. I bow hunt instead. I am a nurse and volunteer to work every 4th of July just so I don’t have to go with my family to see fire works. And, if we do go, we park miles away in the country to watch them. I just want to be “cured”. I feel I am getting worse and not sleeping as well at night. I jump when I hear a car door slam, or drive by. I fear to mow the lawn with a rider mower because I think it will back fire. I love shows, and won’t go because there may be pyrotechnics involved. I just want to be FREE! The last straw was when I had to sit at a baby shower with my fingers in my ears because kids were playing with balloons. I wanted to support my best friend on her new baby, but all I could see was a sudden balloon pop! As a child my family STILL reminds me on how I made them miss the fireworks at Disney World.

  16. Woah… no way. I can’t believe there’s so many people besides me who suffer from this. I’m 17 and I’ve been struggling with this since my freshmen year and it’s gotten worse since. I’m scared to get in the middle of conversations or social situations for fear that some loud noise will happen and I’ll jump and be emberrased. This thing is totally taking over my life… I really need to stop it. I refuse to let it take over me. I;m going to figure out a way to over come this! I’m thinking about running some simple experiments on myself and see if I can come up with a solution from there… I just hope it works because it’s really starting to take a toll on my life.

  17. I must have something like this because fire drills at school make me mad and i get really scared and want to curl into a ball but mostly beeping noises scare me. Any kind of beeping from the microwave, the oven, my alarm clock, or the iron i get so scared i cant control my self i jump and just get really sad/scared/mad.

  18. Hello to all & thank you all for your comments. I’d like to point out Nick’s comment, which reinforces the first point of the article under Treatment – see your doctor – none of you should have to live with this fear and, as Nick said, there is support. I wish you all the best and all healing.

  19. I am 27 and am also scared of the anticipation of a loud noise. I have been known to sit through entire plays with my fingers in my ears and I am drenched in sweat at the end. I love going to the opera though as they just tend to use silent props, but it doesn’t stop me fidgeting! I also detest kids with balloons, party poppers, fireworks, dogs, thunderstorms and sirens (if an ambulance goes past I often duck into a shop incase the sirens suddenly start), and the knowledge that an alarm is about to go off. At work they used to test the fire alarm every Tuesday at 11am and I would clock watch and feel sick until it was over. I am getting better with age though, but feel sorry for my kids who will have boring birthday parties!

  20. I am so glad that i found this page, i thought i would be the only one! I have a terribble case and i wanted 2 kill my self on friday night ( 5 november 2010, Diwali ) I hate having this phobia because i am in boarding school and i dont have my mom to support me! i hate going to galas and athletics because they use a starting gun and i just embarrase myself everytime!!!
    Hopefully it will get better soon!

  21. Lara, I am not a doctor or therapist, but I would encourage you to find help and support for your fear as your response to sounds appears so severe. Perhaps there is a teacher or support person at your school who could help you. I wish you all the best now and for the future.

  22. heyy every!
    god!! even i used to think dat im da only 1 with this horrible phobia!i mean being scared of balloons dats juss too bad!:@…i wnted to say dat i get scared sumtymz lyk by seeing a balloon or if sum1’s bouncing a ball but sumtyms im nt scaredd at alll!…is it the same with u all or u just get scared evrytime u hear a loud noise…its juss so unbeareable !i hate it :( …n im 16..
    please do reply to my question :)

  23. Thanks Tammy,

    I can now embrace and love myself.
    Before I found this site I really hated myself for having this phobia, I felt I was a burden to my family and fiends. i’ve had this phobia for as long as I can remember it dose seem to be getting worse as time goes on. Thank you again for your help.

  24. I am so glad to find that I am not alone with this fear…I’ve spent my whole life “running” from fireworks, balloons, fire alarms, gunshots, etc because of this! And most of my friends and family think I am slightly crazy because of my avoidance and ear-plugging…

  25. My problem is loud noise like a party,and the music,and people talking,laughing and yelling. I hate loudness. I hate being around my husbands family as they are all loud drunks.
    I also hate the gunshots,or waiting for the gunshot.
    My husband just kidding around with me and say’s something right in my left ear and I just yell at him.
    I think it is all the over stimulation coming at me at once.But,it is the loudness that drives me crazy! I get more angry than anything!

  26. I have a strange fear. First of all I recently had a heart procedure for SVT (which in essence is a rapid heartbeat). I had an oblation procedure done and supposedly I am cured. At work there is a woman here who seems to take great pride in being loud. Out of no where she sneezes VERY loudly. It happened today and I felt my heart “freeze” or tighten up and then felt lightheaded and dizzy (like the ones I would feel when my SVT was coming on). Sounds stupid, but I wonder if that extremely loud noise could have triggered my attack (Julie the nurse could you reply?). She absolutely startles me when it happens and I say that isn’t funny, but of course, my other co-worker thinks it halarious and laughs like crazy.

  27. I have a strange fear. First of all I recently had a heart procedure for SVT (which in essence is a rapid heartbeat). I had an oblation procedure done and supposedly I am cured. At work there is a woman here who seems to take great pride in being loud. Out of no where she sneezes VERY loudly. It happened today and I felt my heart \”freeze\” or tighten up and then felt lightheaded and dizzy (like the ones I would feel when my SVT was coming on). Sounds stupid, but I wonder if that extremely loud noise could have triggered my attack (Julie the nurse could you reply?). She absolutely startles me when it happens and I say that isn\’t funny, but of course, my other co-worker thinks it halarious and laughs like crazy.

  28. I have a strange fear. First of all I recently had a heart procedure for SVT (which in essence is a rapid heartbeat). I had an oblation procedure done and supposedly I am cured. At work there is a woman here who seems to take great pride in being loud. Out of no where she sneezes VERY loudly. It happened today and I felt my heart \\\”freeze\\\” or tighten up and then felt lightheaded and dizzy (like the ones I would feel when my SVT was coming on). Sounds stupid, but I wonder if that extremely loud noise could have triggered my attack (Julie the nurse could you reply?). She absolutely startles me when it happens and I say that isn\\\’t funny, but of course, my other co-worker thinks it halarious and laughs like crazy.

  29. It is nice to see that others know how I feel…although I wish none of us had to deal with this. It is just so embarrassing and noboby understands unless their going through it. Everyone can understand other phobias, but they do not realize the severity of our phobia and find it silly. I wonder if I will ever get married because I avoid relationships so that I don’t have to explain my issue. I was just invited to see Phantom of the Opera in New York, but I’m so afraid that there will be guns and pyrotechnics that I don’t think I will go. I wish we could all get together and share our experiences. I also wish there was a website we could go to where it lists what shows, concerts, etc. contain/do not contain loud noises. For those of you who love plays here are some I have seen that do not contain pyrotechnics/guns, etc.: Rent, Mama Mia, Grease, Wicked (building, intense music, but no pyrotechnics except a flash of fire and no guns), Girls’ Night The Musical, and I will keep you posted if I see any others. Does anyone know if Rock of Ages or the Beatles Cirque Du Soleil have pyrotechnics? I wanted to see these, but have been afraid to.

  30. I’m also phonophobic… I had this ever since I was an infant. In my home video, whenever my parents gave me a toy with loud noises, I would wince really hard and would struggle to get far away from it as possible. Also, as a child, when my parents took me to go see fireworks, I hid in a supermarket nearby because I was too scared of the loud noise! Now, I can see the fireworks as long as I plug my ears in, but I still get REALLY nervous when I see many balloons. I am scared to even touch them in case they might pop. And if they do pop, I get scared momentarily followed by frustration and anger. I cannot watch a play with gunshots– I am unable to pay attention to what’s going on because I fear when they will fire next. The worst is waiting for a loud noise to be fired, and not knowing exactly when they will be fired— I am terrified and get light headed when this happens. It is upsetting when people say that I am overeacting when I scream or jump at the noise. I’ve been called “fake” and that I do this to get attention. Ppl never understand unless they go through it….. But it’s relieving to know others have this problem, although very few cuz I haven’t actual met someone who is phonophobic like me..

  31. I also struggle from this phobia. I am 18 and have been excluded from many amazing activities. I couldn’t go on my class trip to Disney World last year because of the fireworks. I embarrace myself all the time at parties because of balloons. I think the worst situation is when I am at school and they have experiences with balloons and I run out of the room crying. I have reccently gotten a job at Cedarpoint for the summer, till I realised… They have fireworks. I have no idea what I am going to do.

  32. I am also a bowhunter because of this fear.

    I wanted to bow hunt in Utah, but I couldn’t because you have to pass basic hunter ed which means shooting a gun at a range, bowhunter ed does not replace the hunter education course for archery hunters born after December 31, 1965. I was supposed to hunt with friends out there. If anyone has any ideas please let me know. I live in Oregon.

  33. I agree and sympathize with all the comments. My fear of noises extends to everything from sneezing to firecrackers. I can’t go to the movies because they are too loud as well.

    Best wishes

  34. I used to think I was just weird until I decided to Google “fear of loud noises” and happened upon this page. I can sympathize with every single commenter. At school, at the cafeteria table where I sit, everyday these group of guys would buy bags of potato chips and pop the bags. At first, it didn’t bother me but over the course of the schoolyear I started anticipating when they would pop the bags and it got so bad that by the end of that schoolyear I hid in the restroom the entire lunch period to avoid the popping bags. I’ve never shot or even held a firework in my hand. I simply can’t stand balloons because I’m always wondering if/when they’re going to pop. I live in a rural area where people frequently do alot of hunting. If I hear a gunshot, I panic and get anxious for at least an hour or so until I can reassure myself that nobody else is going to shoot a gun. In my opinion, out of all the phobias, this is the worse simply because you never know when to expect it and you can’t avoid it.

  35. Knowing that I am not alone makes such a difference to me. I am a twin and my sister also suffers from this fear so I have had very little faith in the theory that it is a fear that has been learnt from a painful childhood experience. I have also learnt that my uncle who I never met, also had the same fear. I have always been sensitive to noise, especially unexpected noises. My birthday is November 5th so most of my parties involved fireworks but always quiet ones which my sister and I would look at from the safety of our bedroom window. I can remember one occasion when I was about 9 and I was in the school playground leaning on a wall when some of the lads decided to let off some caps. I immediately jolted forward and chipped my tooth on the top of the wall – felt daft really. Unfortunately I seem to spend most of my time trying to avoid loud noises. I even check for any oncoming thunderstorms when the weather is particularly hot. Such a shame as it spoils my whole outlook on things really. This year I will be 50 (ancient eh) and will be spending my birthday in Rome with my sister to avoid all the fireworks so I suppose there are some bonuses. Just wish I could find a cure because I really HATE HOW VUNERABLE THIS FEAR MAKES ME FEEL. I wish you all the very very best and will be thinking of you all when I feel down. I always try to think that at least I have my health and take strength from the fact that I can survive and am a strong person because I have to face my fears many times.

  36. I am Mary-Jane’s twin sister and I have the same phobia. I think it is a combination of genetics, hyper sensitivity and possibly reinforced behaviour from twin to twin, cannot put it down to a single experience but remember running away from parties when quite small (due to balloons) also hid under the stairs during a thunderstorm (when not so young)and locked myself in as the handle dropped off, stuck inside until made a whole in door to get out..laugh about it now but not funny at the time. Have been on a course of cognitive therapy and did find it helpful to discuss with a group different anxieties – secret is to focus on time when you coped OK and build on that, tried getting relative to let off party poppers upstairs and gradually walk nearer (best was at the bottom of the stairs but gave myself loads of praise for this) haven’t done this for a few years tho. so its work in progress. Still avoid lots of shows, celebrations and dread being stuck at work when big thunderstorm, but keep telling myself I’ve survived so far, the worst that can happen is bursting into tears or behaving like a demented moron. Do worry if I was a danger to my son in the car but just tell myself I’d stop safely until it passed. Well altho that sounds all negative I believe you learn this behaviour and so in some way you may be able to unlearn it. Going back to the cognitive therapy it would be useful if a group ran for just this phobia and not a mixed group, as I agree this is a tricky one. I’ve gone thru life thinking I am weak and a failure cos of this but hey as my sis says we are having to face our fears many times and it strips you down emotionally to the core but we all try to overcome it, we should all be proud of ourselves. Keep fighting it. Good luck

  37. I’ve had this fear as long as I could remember. I still remember seeing fireworks from very far away, and I would hide under my parent’s bedsheets. It doesn’t bother me now because they are very far away, but I still have the fear. I also remember hating school assemblies. All the kids would be excited because they got to get out of class, but I always hated them because I would worry on what the assembly was going to be about. The reason why I would worry is because I knew that sometimes the assemblies would contain some sort of loud material. In Kindergarten, I remember one assembly where there was a person in a smoke detector costume. They had a kid come up from the audience, and they told the kid to press the costume’s red button. As he touched it, an extremely loud noise (probably the first time I have ever heard a fire alarm) went off. They had assemblies like this throughout elementary school and middle school, and one time these muscular guys visited our school. One of them blew up this ice/heat pack thing, and I was plugging my ears. My arms were shaking, my heart was beating faster and faster, and I was sweating as I saw the ice/heat pack grow larger and larger and watched it explode. All throughout elementary school and middle school, the staff knew my fear. They would take me out somewhere where you could barely hear the fire drill, and even though it wasn’t loud where I was I was still having the symptoms of ligyrophobia. Now in high school, the office staff is doing the same thing for me. I also remember when someone invited me to a birthday party, I would get excited, but then my heart would sink because I knew there would be balloons there. Sometimes I would show up, sometimes I didn’t. This fear has affected my life so much, and I think it’s the worst fear there is. I feel like the people who are afraid of spiders and clowns (I’m afraid of clowns only because of the balloons) and heights have it the easy way. Glad to know there are other people out there that have the same fear, and as everybody else said, I thought I was the only one.

  38. Wow I have this phobia too I can’t stand fireworks gunshots and hate 4th of July with all my heart because of the fireworks

  39. I’m glad to know that you all have the same phobia as I do. Apparently anti-anxiety medications work. I’m going to try this as soon as I can. I’m 19, and It’s such an embarrassing fear…I don’t even know how I deal with it sometimes. I’ve had it my entire life. Last night I was just riding go karts with my husband, and I had to stop mid track because mine backfired a couple times and I couldn’t handle it.

    I know this time of the year isn’t easy for all of us, so hang in there guys. <3

  40. I have the very same fear and is dictating my life…..especially in social situations. I’m glad I’m not the only one and we can all relate. My question is…do any of you know of any successful cases where the person was cured? I’m researching now and I have not seen anything on the internet. Thanks everyone

  41. Hey same here what really makes me scared is a csx train and to know I\’m not alone makes me feel better

  42. I am not a sufferer from this awful phobia myself, but my girlfriend, who is fourteen, suffers terribly from it. It’s awful, and she is bullied terribly at school because of it. I want to help her beat this more than anything, but I haven’t got a clue where to start. Can anyone help?
    I live in Portsmouth, UK and I’m 14.
    Please, any advice would help.

  43. Oh my gosh, I thought I was alone! When I was little I made my mom sleep in the same bed as me until lightening storms stopped. I also get scared when someone goes close to a balloon with a sharp object. Its TERRIBLE! I honestly wished I didnt have this. Going to Disney with my family, I’m always scared of the fireworks that may go off.

  44. I am overwhelmed to have found this page . like most of you,I though I was the only one.As a teenager, I am often exposed to situations were (because I am with my friends) i cant cover my ears.It is torture when little kids are pointing and laughing at me at firework displays and birthday parties when i have my fingers in my ears.It really has been a burden on my life since I was 3 or 4 when a freindly train driver tooted his horn at me. I went paintballing last month and I was too scared to shoot the gun.Tonight I am going to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and I am terrified because Fireworks just appear out of nowhere now and then.The last time I sat trembling with my fingers in my ears and couldnt enjoy a wonderful show.

  45. Happy to have found this forum. I feel for all of you as I have had this fear since I was 2 and brought to see fireworks. I’m now approaching 50 and I’m frustrated that I still have this phobia. Time has not erased it. I finally opened up to my wife of 23 years and told her about it. She was very understanding. I’ve done a great job avoiding the worse situations. For me, I’m Ok with thunder and loud movies. I can’t stand canon fire, gun shots and most fireworks. Balloons are a different story. I have forced myself to be around them in private and it has helped. I still have trouble popping them but can at least attend a party where they will be. Now that my wife knows of my phobia, she is willing to help me with the balloons, maybe fireworks and guns later. I will force myself to attend a fireworks display with her some time in the future. As far as guns, I’m still very fearful and I don’t know if I will live long enough to get over that. I am also cursed with phobias of snakes, heights and needles all of which I have made strides on. This sudden noise phobia is by far the worse.
    I wish I had more to offer. The balloons for me was the easiest place to start as you can
    start getting use to the popping noise with small underinflated ones and gradually work your way up to bigger tighter ones. I wish everyone the best and would love to see more posts.

  46. I wish I knew that this would go away with time, but I’m 21 now and have had this phobia as long as I can remember – it hasn’t gone away.

    Now I’m preparing for a military career and I’m absolutely terrified of the gunshots that will be a standard part of my training. I can only hope that the combined frequency of gunfire and the stress of HAVING to cope or face the wrath of drill instructors will cure my fear. I’m considering cognitive exposure therapy, but the price might be a bit too much for me. Nothing else has helped.

    I’m sick of running in tears from any room with balloons in it – particularly balloons in the hands of wild children. I’m sick of missed birthdays, 4th of Julys, and ruined performances that include gunfire. Thinking about it is making my chest hurt.

    For those of you worried about a Disney trip though, fear not! I just went and the fireworks show is every night at Epcot. I was able to watch the show comfortably from Epcot, inside the Japanese restaurant in the Japan part of the park. The noise was very muffled, so as long as you’re inside you won’t have a problem. Trust me – I’m about as highly ligyrophobic as they come! I hope that eases any concerns you’re having about a trip – the sound is very avoidable.

  47. Update; just celebrated my 50th birthday. Just so happened there were fireworks that night a few towns away. I asked my wife to accompany me to them. We stood at basically ground zero where I knew they would be loud. It had been 25 plus years since I had seen fireworks this close. She kept telling me we could leave anytime. We held hands and it went very well. I refused to leave and stuck it out to the finally. Because I could see the lights first before the report, I could judge by the height which ones would be louder and brace myself. I did better than expected. I hope to attend another one in 2 weeks. I found some helpful tidbits while searching the net. I found some recorded fireworks on YouTube that were well recorded with very little background noise. “Fitchburg July 4th 2011 fireworks” was the best one. I played it a few times turning up the volume a little as I went to full volume. I felt very anxious at first but it got better each time I played it. For the anxiety, I would tell myself, “STOP” in my mind and switch thoughts. It takes will power for this but it works. Also for the actual event, I practiced deep breathing. Count to 4 or5 while inhaling deeply. Hold your breath, count to 7, and then exhale counting to 8. It works! I know I can handle this now with only minimal anxiety. My wife also popped several birthday balloons for me. They weren’t that big and I seemed to get used to those. She blew one up real big and tight and that was a little scarier when it popped. I hope to work my way up to some bigger ones the next time. It is true that exposure is really the only way to deal with this. I’m sure I will still have problems with loud guns but who knows. I have made close friends with some people who own guns and whom I might console with and maybe they can help me. But for now, I’m feeling a lot more confident with what I have accomplished. Most people on here are way younger than me. I say to you, don’t wait it doesn’t get any easier with age. Erin, I give you a lot of credit for joining the military. I’m sure the exposure will be scary but you should be able to get through it fast so I have been told. Thanks for serving our country. God Bless

  48. as u know diwali is coming …. i nhate crackers and i have a extremely disastress fear of loud crackers like bombsss i feel sweatingg , pl,z give me some teqniqssss to get rid of this extremely high fear!!!

  49. :( >3

  50. hmmmm biggg problem

  51. Hello friends i also hate firecrackers and anything which make loud noise . I’m from India and i hate Diwali because of noisy firecracker and people make amockery of law during diwali . Well i have found a solution while researching on internet it’s about military earplugs which blocks unwanted loud noise but enable natural hearing . The companies which manufacture the earplugs are Etymotic Research , Quiet pro . Etymotic research produces EB•15 High-Fidelity Electronic BlastPLG™ earplugs specially designed for loud noise like bombs . Other than that the only way to cure this phobia is exposure to problem itself my cousin had this problem and his father tied hm to chair burst firecrackers for around 15 minutes and it was all over for him and now he enjoys bursting firecrackers . My email Id is feel free to contact me

  52. I developed this “fear” literally after I was born on July 5th. Some idiot thought a bag full of fireworks was a trash can and threw a punk in the bag and went off in my moms hospital room. I don’t remember much of my childhood but ever since I can remember I’ve always hated loud noises. Fireworks, thunderstorms, horror movies, gun shots, anything that’s a sudden loud noise gives me anxiety and I feel like breaking down in tears or sets me in a rage. Gradual increase in sound doesn’t bother me. I can listen to music on the highest setting and won’t bother me, as long as its gradual. I feel embarrassed when I’m holding my ears in a movie theater, stay inside on 4th of July or my birthday, I can’t enjoy haunted houses with my girlfriend. I’ve done research and everyone is saying face your fears, you can’t with this phobia, it will only damage your hearing, far worse then facing it. As you try to “face your fear” you will only lose your hearing. Yes you will get over the loud noises but in return, lose your hearing, and possibly go deaf later on in life. I want to get over this “fear” because when I have children I don’t want to miss out on any moment. It’s a fathers job to show their children their invincible, that their a super hero. I’m very happy that I’m not the only one, I just want to get over my “fear”

  53. Its somewhat comforting to see that I’m not the only one. I’m not from India, yet due to a large Hindi population proportion in my country (Fiji) we celebrate Diwali and yes I tend to stay indoors during this time due to the fireworks. Other fear catalysts for myself are balloons and thundercracks. I can partially withstand the fear by covering one ear (sometimes pretending that im resting my head on my hand lol) but apart from that its pretty bad for myself. Only a few friends and my close family know. I too have been subject to ridicule at times and it hurts especially as the fear can be overwhelming at times. LOL at sunny123’s story about your uncle’s treatment, sounds like a sure fire solution, but I’d probably pass out. Very interested in those earplugs that you’ve mentioned. My sympathies to all fellow sufferers and good luck finding your own remedies.

  54. I encounter this strange phobia from my 6 year old isabelle 10 year ago. It was so real and traumatic, I didn’t know what to do but requested her younger brother to stop bouncing his ball on the floor and the whole family to shut doors very lightly. It didn’t help much more than contained the moment. That was, until we got 2 kittens home. Caring for the two pets gradually took away isabelle’s focus on noises around her. It took almost a year for the cats to distract her. Thank God, Isabelle is now a jolly, 15 year old going to year 11 and loves hunting for good music from YouTube. She’s a stro character of her own – refuses to succumb to peer trends such as groupings but enjoys mingling with a few chatty friends :)

  55. Hi everyone, i live here in the Philippines and tomorrow night is new year’s eve. It is really comforting to know that I’m not crazy, and im not alone with this phobia. it is really sad that everyone is enjoying while you are all alone in a contained room to not to hear the sudden sound of firecrackers. and what I hate here in our country is that the louder the sound of explosion the better. I dont know with them.. I just wish that I can overcome this fear, it’s really killing me and affecting my social life. :-(

  56. i have ligyrophobia and i have to wait every time in band i feel like i will vomit because the two loudest players sit right behind me. when i her loud noises i usually start crying. my dad yells a lot in the house and my mom thinks i am crying because of why he is yelling or the fact that he is yelling at me but it really is the loud noises he produces when he yells. people at school are real mean about it they will come behind me and scream, i then in turn freak out and they start laughing, while i am still dieing on the inside trying to escape. i would not mind being mute because of it.

  57. wow, like many of you I thought I was alone with this condition. i have a question for the rest of you, if you are in a state of relaxation & do not feel threatened, do you still become startled when a loud noise occurs? personally i do not. that’s what puzzles me, it’s not the actual loud noises that do the harm, it’s the damned anticipation. it seems like the anticipation creeps in to more aspects of my life as the days go by though.

  58. wow, like many of you I thought I was alone with this condition. i have a question for the rest of you, if you are in a state of relaxation & do not feel threatened, do you still become startled when a loud noise occurs? personally i do not. that\’s what puzzles me, it\’s not the actual loud noises that do the harm, it\’s the damned anticipation. it seems like the anticipation creeps in to more aspects of my life as the days go by though.

  59. I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone. i am16 n i am the type of guy who likes to get lots of girls n stuff. im a teenager lol. nee ways knowing that this will not go away until im older will be hard for me because not only will i be embarassed but not alot of girls would want to go for a guy like me :( . the worst is birthday parties. i hate balloons so much with a passion. my last birthday party my mom bought balloons n didnt take me seriously. the only real way ive gotten over it is when im completely wasted. we all need help :(

  60. I’m 18, it’s good to know that I am not the only one who is suffering from this. My dad have guns and its really embarrassing that I got too nervous and even hide every time he uses it. Worst of all is that I’m afraid of firecrackers. All my friends and relatives are not afraid of it, not even the girl that I like. I can’t fully enjoy the holidays.I really want to cure this. I’m dreaming of becoming an agent(like FBI) and I’m studying now to pursue this career. My future work involves busting criminals, the use of weapons like guns is inevitable. I also like everything about the military. And it’s really embarrassing to have this fear. I’m hoping that this won’t seriously affect my future and that one day it would be gone. I really need to find a cure for this.

  61. Yah it sucks, period. Hell i even hate admitting to myself that I have this let alone other people. I’m so pissed at this thing that i’ve mentally “settled it down” a little bit at least… My family brought these huge over-inflated baloons to a party once, they told me to hang them where the people sat but instead I tied them to the back of a car brushing the ground and ran away to let them pop on their own…its effected me a lot, i tell myself it’s illogical but that doesn’t help a bit. I used to love going to the beach to watch fireworks with friends from about 5 miles away, then some locals decided to blow up a milk jug and launch a giant sky rocket right next to where I was…will not go back even though I absolutely love being there. So many other stories, I pity anyone who has this, extremely annoying.

  62. Hello I have lived with this fear my whole life! I am so sick and tired of being scared of sudden loud noises, I wish none of us had this phobia. I am planning on going to a psychologist to try and see if I can get a cure. Hopefully something will work out for me because I am losing hope of ever getting rid of this phobia that holds me back of living my life.

  63. Dear Lord! I thought it was only me! I saw a report in a magazine about this and decided to look up more on it. As I read some of the comments, I couldn’t believe how many people have the same problem. Watching someone blow up a balloon has me half crazed untill the balloon is tied off. The main noises that I cause me problems are very windy days, the sharp yelp of small dogs, loud bass/ music, the snap of flags, I could go on. You all know. With the wind, it has to be the worst fear. It makes me irrationaly dizzy, antsy and just generally half sick. I just can’t go outside in windy weather. I’m so happy I’ve been finally able to get this off my chest. I’m not the only one.

  64. if there are medications please do let me know. i dont want to spend the rest of my life bearing this torture. Because therapy has been of no use.

  65. My five year old son has a terrible fear of loud/sudden noises – bouncy castles, cinema, circus, hair dryers, hand dryers, liquidiser. He is missing out in all childhood fun activities and he cannot go to birthday parties etc due to this problem

    he has been diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction (SID) – just wondering if anyone else knows of a link between SID and fear of noise??


  66. Its nice to know that I’m not the only one that has this problem, especially that there are adults that have this problem (not nice that they have the problem, but nice to know that I’m not a baby for being 18 and afraid of balloons). When I was younger I always thought that when I was older I would be afraid and I would outgrow it, but of course that never happened. A couple years ago when I took chemistry I was always afraid we were going to do a lab that would involve something exploding (we did, but luckily I knew about it ahead of time and skipped school that day). I’m starting college in the fall and will have to take chemistry, so I have the same fear, especially considering its more advanced chemistry, that we will do something involving an explosion. Fourth of July is always the worst day of the year for me. Any time I have to go outside, which I try to avoid if possible, I feel so nervous and my heart races. I hate having to make excuses with my friends every year like “I have to do stuff with the family” when they invite me to watch fireworks cause I’d really like to go, but that’s just not something I can do without completely embarrassing myself. I could go on and on forever about this but this would be the longest comment ever that no one would want to spend that long reading lol. If anyone wants to email about this just ask :)

  67. I can\’t believe there are so many of us! Up until tonight, I really thought I was the only one with this fear. It\’s inexplicable, I\’m a 39 yr old surgeon and I\’m terrified of loud things. Guns and firecrackers are the worst – especially the anticipation, and I\’d do anything to get over this fear. I hate how exhausting it is to have to always think 3 steps ahead just to avoid getting trapped in a \”bad\” situation.

    Has anyone tried hypnotherapy or CBT? I don\’t want to drug myself and I\’m sick of running and hiding.

    I kind of disagree about Disney. It\’s one of the only places on earth I consider safe. Loud things are very predictable and avoidable there. There are balloons (which strangely don\’t bother me), but fireworks schedules are adhered to and there are many safe quiet spots.

  68. I commented back in 2009 and decided to check back in. I’m happy that our community has a place to vent our frustrations. It’s comforting to know we are not alone. I’m status quo as far as the sudden loud noises are concerned. My friends and relatives are aware of it and I’m not self conscious around them but I’m still quite embarrassed around the general public when I have the nervousness, avoidance behavior, jumpiness and resort to ear plugging behaviors. I have season tickets to major league baseball and when I know that there will be fireworks after the game, I leave several innings early so as not to be exposed to it which unfortunately affects my husband’s enjoyment. Luckily he is understanding of it and goes along without complaint.

    I’ve also read that this syndrome is common among the autistic population. However, I know I’m not autistic. I did experience social shyness when I was young and in high school.

    It sure would be illuminating if this phobia could be traced to a definite cause.

    I just keep doing my best to work around it.

  69. I’m so glad I’m not alone with this phobia. I’m 42 years old and feared full blown shinny balloon since I can remember! I hate the sound of thunder, fireworks and mostly firecrackers. I can’t believe that I still block my ears when I see kids playing with balloons ready to pop. I look extremely stupid. I’ll be awake all night when there’s a thunderstorm. I am very unconfortable to the point my husband is laughing at me. I was a child with extreme hearing infections and am now required to wear hearing aids. I stopped wearing them because of my phobia but I just found out that it can be rectified with the recruitment condition when you have hearing aids. Not fun to have an hearing problem plus to have the phobia…it makes no sense to me. I try to deal with it but it’s hard and very uncomfortable.

  70. Someone needs to invent an ear plug that normalised sound within a volume range then this issue of loud unexpected sounds would be resolved.

  71. Someone needs to invent an ear plug that normalised sound within a volume range then this issue of loud unexpected sounds would be resolved.

  72. Jennifer, I also thought I would outgrow this horrible phobia, but for me it seems to get worse as I get older. Chemistry was a nightmare for me as well! I am just having soo much trouble with this issue and don’t know what to do about it. Would love talk more about this!

  73. Ok, so went to the 2cd fireworks display in 7 months. I was way more relaxed this time. At least with a display, you can time the bangs and that cuts back on the \”anticipation\” part of this phobia. I believe exposure is the only way. Have also popped some balloons and that issue is much better now. Not sure if I will make it to a shooting range though but who knows. I feel for everyone who has this as it is not easy to cure and I don\’t think I will ever be cured completely but at least now I can deal with most of it.

  74. Judas! I\’m here reading about noise phobia and a (*#$& ad with audio comes up! Thanks for increasing it.

  75. i am freaking out when i hear explosions for example the sound of fireworks ad gunshots am i considered a ligyrophobic????

  76. it’s really good too know that i am not the only ligyrophobic. I love new year’s eve except for the explosions outside the house :D

  77. As almost everyone else wrote, I’m glad to know that I’m not alone in this stupid fear. I am a 14 year old girl and I didn’t always have this fear. When I was little I remembered that I used to love balloons but I’m not sure about firecrackers and fireworks, etc. I am not completely sure how I contracted this fear but it might have been from this one time when we were at the mall on Chinese New Year. There were lion dancers on the stage and at the back, there was a huge string of firecrackers inside a metal cage that went from the stage all the way to the second floor of the mall. I remember that I was on the second floor with my mom looking down at those firecrackers and then seeing them be lit and go off. I feel bad that my family has to live with me and my fear. I have a twin sister and she is only slightly affected by this fear. I am currently a freshmen in high school and I am afraid of ziploc and paper bag popping, latex or any balloon popping, glove popping, gunshots, firecrackers, fireworks, dog barking, those cracking/snapper stuff you throw at the ground, whip cracking, water bottle popping (when people twist a plastic water bottle and make a popping noise with the cap), explosions, thunder, backfiring, cannons (even ones in the movies like The Hunger Games), etc. I have a difficult time during lunch because I do want to sit with my sister and my friends but they sit where people pop things and it’s hard to explain to people about your situation when you’ve only met them a week ago. Also, they and I want a social life as well and I don’t want to deprive them of that but I don’t want to be a loner during lunch and I don’t want to drag anyone to unwillingly sit with me in a quiet area. My sister is sometimes sympathetic but other times thinks that I am a complete retarded psycho and that I am acting stupid. My mom wants me to try therapy but I doubt that it will help.

  78. Just lol because life is hard as it is without having such irrational fears in it

  79. Little kids screaming and shouting outside our house and occasional slamming doors next door are making me anxious when I’m at home. Fireworks make me anxious but are not as loud so not such a problem. I know these triggers are all totally irrational fears based on a traumatic experience two years ago in my previous house but nothing I do seems to help me not to be anxious about these things.

    I’m waiting for a ‘overcome the fear of noise’ hypnosis cd to arrive which I hope will work.

  80. I am 21 yrs old from India.Each diwali has been an experience of hell for me,i fear sudden loud sound. To avoid sudden loud cracker sound i put in music ear-plugins and play music at full volume to avoid any other sudden external loud sound. I have had this fear all my life; earlier in my childhood i feared even sound of pressure cooker but gradually i got rid of that fear somehow. Among sounds that i fear are sounds of crackers, bursting sound of balloon, sudden horn blown in traffic, sound of lightening. Common aspect among sounds i fear is that they all involve an element of unexpected loud sound. My life has become hell due to this, i have given up my ambition to join military due to this.

    Once i read in an article that a few people have hypersensitive senses and they catch details of stimulus for that sensory system in more detail than any other person in general.

    My email id is:

  81. Hello I have lived with this fear my whole life!(32 years) I am so sick and tired of being scared of sudden loud noises, & thundering I wish none of us had this phobia.

    Once i read in an article in net that homoepathy medicine MAG. CARB-200/ Mag Phos-200 may cure this problem.

    I am taking Mag Carb-200 once in a week, & feeling better. against fireworks sound.

  82. As many of you have stated already, thank god i found there are others besides myself. I read somewhere that this phobia will get worse if we keep trying to hide it and feed on our fear. Truth be told i used to act hard in high school to fit in but it wasn’t my thing due to my innocent friendly nature. I was young and while working full-time as a security guard + school. It didn’t go so well & after several years i got my AA degree. Went to Cal State & didn’t like my major so i’m now back in college. I believe my fear started by being a security guard for so long. It never bugged me to be working alone in a quiet isolated place with no one there until i found out a security guard actually got killed. It was since then that i’ve heightened my senses whenever i work by myself. I’ve been stationed at a factory for several years now and on sundays i used to work alone. When i go on patrols sudden very loud sounds from machines would go off and my heart would start beating faster like a panic/anxiety attack. It recently got to the point where even if others are working there the sudden loud noises would still send a jolt to my body sometimes cause a reaction in my facial expression. I try to avoid where all the source of the sudden noises by walking a different route. The ones i can’t avoid are the scariest ones where i don’t know when it’ll hit me at. I got into a bit of a mess with credit cards when i was younger so im pretty much screwed if i don’t have a full-time job to sustain my payments. Looking for a new job is too risky for me atm, and i just wanted to share my feelings with others like myself. The saddest part is as a security guard you can’t let others know you fear such things. I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully one day we can rid ourselves of such a horrible phobia.

  83. dont worry hina, thr r a lot f ppl suffering frm ths same phobia. i m one f thm, i m 32 yrs old n i hav ths sam feelings whn i happn to hear r engaged n som situation whr thr s some kin f loud noises r abt to pop. fo me thr r several thngs like ballons, firecrackers, thnuders, even banging of sound horns suddenly ll trigger my fear. i thnk we shld make up our mind n slowly engage thos situations which we used to afraid jus like we ourself shld try to inflate n pop tht. n abt fire crackers we shld try to watch t with our ears plugged n once we watch t we can build up some confidence n slowly we had to try t without ear plugs.
    i m trying ths way to overcome my fear jus ths way. jus share me your ideas abt ths. my mail id s

  84. I am 19 and dont know why I’ve always wanted to protect my ears, well now I know…I hear My Guides and the Angels of the Higher Dimensions and I guess my fear of loud noises was when I was 4, it has been escalating ever since I my early teen years. I’ve learned to deal with it. Both my parents thought I was a nutcase, but I’ve always been different. My mom after awhile came to terms with it and makes sure I am in another room if she’s blaring music! But no where is sound proof! I’ve been using earplugs for two years now, it’s okay but sometimes like on New Years the firecrackers kill my good mood. For people trying to get over the fear, try working at a music store, where you get to control the volume. :D That’s what I do!

  85. I fricken hate this phobia I would kill anyone who tried to mess our noise limits! I heard PAST LIFE REGRESSION really heal phobias though. I feel like all of us were part of the Civil War in the United States, the first time we had guns in war, so that is probably why I get really PTSD-like if I hear an extremely load blare of noise.

  86. I’ve had this phobia since I was 3, and I’m 30 in a few short months. The originating trauma was when I had my ears pierced and the gun got caught in my ear. I have HATED balloons, fireworks, gunshot, thunder storms and caps ever since. The anxiety attacks are intense… sometimes i need to crawl into a dark place and sleep it off.
    My parents had my hearing tested when I was 5 and it picked up that I have a much greater range of hearing than normal, so there is a medical factor involved. During my childhood I was dragged to every ENT specialist, psychologist, psychiatris, hypnotherapist and alternative therapist in my state with little to no results. Hypnotherapy has been the only therapy that has helped in any way – it enabled me to internalise the anxiety attack instead of lashing out/getting very angry.
    I was bullied and beat on until senior when I moved schools and decided not to tell anyone. I wore earplugs day-in day-out for the rest of high school.
    This phobia has caused an immense amount of embarrassment, shame and frustration throughout my life. However, I have learned to accept ‘my lot’ in life and just get on with it. I always have a pair of earplugs on hand; my work is aware of this disability and accommodate it accordingly; I am happily married to a wonderfully supportive man; and we have brought our daughter up to be aware and supportive of her Momma’s ears. While I am limited in what I can do sometimes, I am fiercely protective of my rights to live as normal a life as possible. I ‘laid down the law’ to my friends and family in my early 20’s, and have since accommodated my limitations graciously. If someone has a kids party with balloons, then they let me know and my husband drops off/picks up our girl. If they want me at their party, then balloons are just a no-go. Its very simple and works well.

    It is a horrid condition to live with, but you are within your rights as a human being to be treated with respect and dignity. Every single person is fearful of something.


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