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Medical Irritating Noises

  1. Jul 21, 2009 #1

    Mentallic

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    What causes a good proportion of the human population (including myself) to be irritated by the sounds of 'screeching' elastics? Such as that of childrens' fingers rubbing against a balloon.
    It seems that we are sorted into 2 categories, either you hate the sounds, or they don't bother you whatsoever. Children seem to be more resistant to the sounds as well.
    Does this have something to do with our ear structures, possibly as you grow older the inner ear changes in a way that makes you susceptible to falling into the 'hate it' category?
    Or possibly the brain changes in such a manner that it just doesn't accept those noises as beautiful music anymore?

    Thoughts?
     
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  3. Aug 17, 2009 #2
    i've read in several places that women can hear high pitched noises better than men, something to do with children's voices and the maternal instinct.

    i think it might have to do with ear changes. i've never enjoyed loud, sharp noises, and now that i'm older, i really can't stand them now. it didn't help that i nearly lost hearing in one ear years ago, and after basically relearning how to hear, there are many more noises i can't stand.

    now that i think about it, i think brain structure may play a role too, along with ear changes...my husband can't hear as many high pitched, irritating noises as i can. the ones he can hear don't bother him nearly as much as they bother me.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2009 #3

    Mentallic

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    Well even though the women and children might have a better hearing for the range of higher frequencies, this doesn't necessarily correspond to liking/disliking the high pitched noises more than compared to a man.

    Actually, also I wouldn't have thought changes in the ear could really affect ones disgust for these noises because only the brain's interpretation of the frequency makes it likeable or not. However, your story suggests otherwise. Thanks for sharing that by the way.

    Are the noises you dislike only high pitched and loud, or are there other criteria for the noise that makes you cringe?
     
  5. Aug 18, 2009 #4
    i wasn't completely sure about the man/woman thing anyway, i figured it might have something to do with it. in my experience, the women around me seem to hate more noises than the men i know. either the men don't care, or they can't hear them.

    my problem could be that my brain had to relearn how to interpret sound, possibly chaning it's structure a bit. or it could be totally ear related, i'm not sure. i just know certain noises seem to hurt more than they used to.

    high pitched is the biggest hurt, general loudness is next. certain loud, low pitched noises give me headaches, and they don't feel like they're originating from my ears, so i don't know what's going on there. metallic noises are big on the list of noises to avoid, as in clanging pots, any sort of metallic grinding. something about the clanging and screeching that makes me shiver and want to run away from the noise.

    i've noticed my dislike for things is a bit weirder than some people's so i don't know how relavent my thoughts are in some matters, lol.
     
  6. Aug 18, 2009 #5

    turbo

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    For me, it's the nasty high-pitched buzz given off by pest-control plug-ins. Even after decades of playing electric guitar (sometimes quite loudly) I can easily hear the "mosquito" ring-tone that kids have used to mask their use of cell phones in schools. I have a brother-in-law who is pretty laid-back, and one weekend we went camping and fishing, and found that we didn't have quite enough room in our Igloo and Coleman coolers, so when we stopped to buy ice, I picked up a cheap Styrofoam cooler to store the ice in. I hadn't gotten 1/4 mile down the road before he was practically jumping out of the Jeep. The squeaking of that cooler rubbing on other stuff was driving him nuts. We had to wrap it in a blanket so it wouldn't rub and squeak.
     
  7. Aug 18, 2009 #6
    oh i'd forgotten about those stupid pest/mosquito control things...people think i'm crazy when i say those things drive me crazy with the noises...dog whistles too...those hurt. no wonder i've heard so many howls after hearing one of those whistles.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2009 #7

    Mentallic

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    Oh yes that styrofoam squeaking from boxes can drive me to murder. But I have no problem with the buzzing of those mosquito zappers. Certain high pitched noises seem to be the usual unbearable noise for most, but exceptions seem to be happening all over the place.

    bsrb13 you do seem to hate more noises than most, but do you reckon you have any idea why re-learning to hear would have been so different to how most children first learn how to hear? Or maybe I didn't completely understand the situation of how teaching yourself to hear noises works.
    Uhh.. aren't the dog whistles meant to be much too highly pitched for humans to hear? Except they bother you, so you can hear them?
     
  9. Aug 19, 2009 #8

    Danger

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    It might have something to do with the sounds made by some predators. Fingernails on a blackboard are not all that different from the screech of leopard. Maybe there's some genetic memory there that just puts us on alert status.
     
  10. Aug 19, 2009 #9

    Mentallic

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    That's actually a very clever idea you've sprung right there Danger, if I don't say so myself :smile: but now I'm tempted to ask how genetics can store instinctive memories, without straying away from the topic though.

    I'm finding it hard to match what styrofoam screeching corresponds with in the animal kingdom, but it might have a plausible answer. Also, as each human reacts to a certain noise differently, would this make much sense in terms of predators? Maybe the males are more susceptible to hating these noises because they're the hunters?
     
  11. Aug 19, 2009 #10
    honestly i haven't the first clue why i hate so many noises. when i did lose my hearing in that ear, i was kinda young, so maybe that helped me relearn to hear. otherwise, i basically made myself pay attention to sounds, to small sounds, focus on them and learn what they sound like through my damaged ear. if i recall correctly, certain things in the ear can regenerate, which might've helped me. in any case, i don't have the same hearing in the damage ear than i do the non damaged one. for example, i can't hold a telephone there because it sounds muffled, but high pitched noises are loud and clear.

    as for dog whistles, i can hear bits and pieces of it. or feel, i can't tell. i just know when someone's blowing on one, i get this tingly, twitchy feelings in my ears and head and it drives me crazy.

    styrofoam doesn't bother me too much...if it's a prolonged noise, i have to make it stop.

    fun fact: when i was in the hospital after having my son, i could tell his cries from the other babies, even though i couldn't see him and he was down the hall away from me. its a weird thing for me, and i wondered who else did something like that. i'm sure many people did. i found it rather neat, lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  12. Aug 20, 2009 #11

    Danger

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    That is quite common among mothers (not so much fathers). If you stop to think back, you could probably also recognize him by scent.
     
  13. Aug 20, 2009 #12
    I think my husband said he could tell, i can't recall exactly. I still find it amazing. I felt kinda riled up and wanted to get him, and realized this is how my cat must feel when people touch her babies, lol.

    oh i remember another noise i hate...high pitched guitar/banjo/any string instrument sounds. It's really bad since my husband plays such instruments and likes for me to listen to his music.
     
  14. Aug 20, 2009 #13

    Danger

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    There's a really simple solution to that; buy yourself a pair of wire-cutters. :biggrin:
     
  15. Aug 21, 2009 #14
    I couldn't do that to him, lol. I've threatened to take all of the strings and hide them...or pawn his stuff. It's not terrible all of the time, just the high pitched notes, especially on a banjo. Hmm...I could loosen all of the strings, it'll take him a while to retune them all, lol
     
  16. Aug 21, 2009 #15

    Danger

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    But you might have to hear him retuning it. :eek:
    You could, also, buy some of those little blackpowder caps (not the plastic ones) that are used in toy guns. They're impact detonated, so maybe you could slip a few in between the strings and the frets. Strum—Boom... :devil:
     
  17. Aug 21, 2009 #16
    Nah, he'd do it in the building, or i'd go into another room.

    I can't do that. Be funny, but I don't wanna hurt him or the instrument, lol.
     
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