What is ligyrophobia? It’s a fear of loud, sudden noises. It can affect one’s comfort in life significantly, as it is especially disturbing during major events, like New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July. In this article, we define ligyrophobia and explain its symptoms and treatment. Do you know someone suffering from this condition? Then you should definitely read on to understand them better.
Ligyrophobia, or phonophobia, is the fear of loud noises. It’s most commonly found among young children, though it may also happen to adults. While it might not seem so, ligyrophobia affects one’s life significantly, as it becomes a heavy burden during any social event.
Festivities that include fireworks, parties, and concerts – these are just a few of the events at which you experience loud noises. For a person with ligyrophobia, such situations are unbearable, meaning that they cannot fully enjoy their social life or even have to hide in particular situations – like on New Year’s Eve when fireworks are set almost everywhere.
One of the biggest issues with ligyrophobia is that it’s really difficult to spot its symptoms in somebody else, especially if they are an adult. This is because many people are embarrassed about this fear. However, without knowing that they suffer from it, it’s impossible to help them or at least alleviate their discomfort. Therefore, you have to be aware of the most common symptoms of ligyrophobia:
- shortness of breath,
- increased heart rate,
In the most critical cases, a person suffering from ligyrophobia might even start screaming or faint due to loud noise. Thus, it’s important to take this fear into consideration if you know someone with this condition, but at the same time, it’s crucial to support them to undertake proper treatment.
Currently, it is unknown what causes the fear of loud noises or why children are more likely to suffer from it and then forget about it. However, it was proven in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that there is a correspondence between certain hearing disorders and developing Ligyrophobia (2013).
Ligyrophobia is diagnosed in the same way as any other phobia – by a mental healthcare professional. Therefore, to be diagnosed with it, one has to:
- Display excessive levels of fear against loud sounds.
- React immediately after hearing loud sounds.
- Avoid places with loud sounds out of fear.
- Suffer from strong distress or limit their everyday activities due to the fear of loud sounds.
- Have ligyrophobia symptoms for at least six months.
- Suffer from no other condition that could lead to the same symptoms.
Thankfully, there are ways to treat ligyrophobia, though they often take time and a lot of effort from the patient. The methods to combat this condition include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – It’s one of the most popular ligyrophobia treatment methods and includes talking about the fear in an attempt to change the perspective of the patient.
- Exposure therapy – As the name suggests, this is a type of therapy where a medical professional and the patient work together to increase exposure to loud noises. It might, but doesn’t have to be done gradually, and it can take different forms, from real-life exposure through imagined exposure to virtual reality exposure.
- Medication – Another option is to take anti-anxiety medication. However, they only become most effective when used along with other treatments. Plus, the meds should not be a long-term solution.
- Meditation/relaxation techniques – Mind-body techniques are used to help patients calm down when exposed to loud noises. Like medication, they are usually combined with therapy.
Soundproofing as a Way to Help People with Ligyrophobia
Ligyrophobia treatment takes time, so people suffering from this condition need to be able to function in society. Soundproofing may help them with that – it’s not a treatment or a permanent solution, but it helps reduce the exposure to loud noises.
For instance, if you’re an employer and have an employee with ligyrophobia, you can help them with the symptoms by installing an office pod. It’s a comfortable space where your worker will be able to focus without hearing any sudden loud noises.
If your friend or family member suffers from ligyrophobia, you might consider purchasing them a home pod or ordering acoustic panels and helping them soundproof their apartment. This will significantly increase their comfort of life, especially during the times when fireworks are set in their neighborhood.
What is ligyrophobia? It’s the fear of loud noises. It can become a major problem, limiting the social life of a person suffering from it. The treatment takes time and includes either talking about the fear or exposure to it. It’s also often combined with medication or relaxing techniques. If you know a person suffering from ligyrophobia, be sure to support them – this fear may seem embarrassing to them, so you need to show them that it’s nothing to be ashamed of and that you’re there to help!
You might also read: 6 Interesting Facts About Soundproofing
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596