What is phonophobia? What you need to know

If you have a fear of loud noises, then you might want to consider being tested for phonophobia. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is it?

Phonophobia is a fear of loud noises. This is classed as when someone has a severe reaction to loud noises, or an intense reaction in anticipation of loud noises. People with this condition will experience anxiety and fear whenever a loud noise is triggered.

What causes it?

This condition isn’t usually caused by a hearing problem or any type of hearing disorder. Instead, it’s a mental health condition that can manifest at any age. Although it’s exact cause isn’t fully understood, there are links to a family history of anxiety disorders as well as childhood trauma that can leave you with a nervous disposition. Those with autism might also be vulnerable to phonophobia given that it can increase sensory sensitivity and anxiety.


The symptoms can make it difficult to enjoy day-to-day life. This is because the symptoms are present in anticipation of loud noises as well as during loud moments. Symptoms often follow the lines of severe anxiety. This means that loud noises will result in a sufferer feeling deep anxiety and fear. It results in shortness of breath, breaking into sweats, increased heart rate, chest pain, dizziness and nausea. In particularly stressful moments, it can result in someone fainting too. The knock-on effect of this can be damaging for your mental and physical wellbeing. Sufferers might become reclusive and exercise less, while it could also lead to depression and other mental health issues.


If you find that this condition is harming your quality of life then you can speak to a doctor or therapist. They’ll explore your condition by asking you a number of different questions. From there, they can refer you to get the specific help that you need.


There are several different techniques that can be used to treat this condition. Cognitive behavioural therapy can help tackle negative thought and behavioural patterns that make the condition worse, while also helping to expose you to your fears and build resilience. Meanwhile, there are plenty of relaxation techniques that can help you tackle your fear in the moment and calm down. Meditation and breathing exercises are both excellent ways of lowering your heart rate, easing your mind and getting the situation back under control


If you think that you might have phonophobia or a hearing issue, then you shouldn’t delay in getting help. By taking a five-minute online hearing test, you can begin to tackle this issue and take steps towards leading a happier, more peaceful life.


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