Oversensitiveness to sound is very common among people with autism. If you suffer from oversensitiveness to sound, wearing hearing protection could help you. For example at work or when walking through the city. By muffling the noise, you receive fewer stimuli. At Alpine we regularly receive questions from people who have autism. That is how we came into contact with 23-year old Alex. Alex also suffers from oversensitiveness to sound because of his autism. We asked him about his experiences with using hearing protection to reduce the impact of stimuli around him. “Earplugs provide a solution in many situations”, says Alex.
Tired more easily because of sound
“When I was younger, I wasn’t really aware of the fact that I was sensitive to sound. I did notice however that I because tired more quickly when in a noisy environment. Listening to the radio, for example, was very tiring, although I really enjoyed it.”
Never again without earplugs
“It wasn’t until I started going to clubs that I discovered the advantages of using earplugs. The first time I went to a club, the music was so loud that it made me dizzy. I even almost fainted because of the many stimuli. After that, I started wearing earplugs when going out and that went really well. I prefer to always have the earplugs with me. I even go back home in case I forgot them.”
At a certain moment, Alex also started wearing the earplugs on various occasions to reduce the sound stimuli. “Especially while traveling. I often sleep in hostels and also go couch surfing every now and then. This means sleeping in other peoples’ homes. In those situations you don’t always have an influence on whether it’s quiet in the room you are sleeping in. That is why I always carry my Alpine SleepSoft earplugs along when I’m traveling. Recently I also discovered that I even benefit from wearing earplugs when I’m in the city centre. The sound level there is higher than you might think.”
Which earplugs are best suitable for reducing stimuli?
Many people with autism wish to attenuate sound, while conversations and, for example, the phone remain audible. The Alpine PartyPlug earplugs are most suitable for that purpose. Moreover, they are available in a transparent version, which makes sure the earplugs are barely visible in your ears. If you would rather have the highest noise attenuation as possible, the Alpine SleepSoft would be the best choice.
Less sensitive to sound
Alex ends with giving people his advice: “Of course I recommend everyone who is oversensitive to sound to use earplugs. But moreover, I call on the people who do not know they are oversensitive to sound, to put it to the test. Furthermore, there are also people with autism who are less sensitive instead of more sensitive to sound. They especially risk permanently damaging their hearing because of too loud noises, because they don’t realize how loud it actually is. That is why I would also advise them to well protect their hearing!”