Sound Sensitivities and Calmer: Tara's Story
Tara sent us a very moving email telling us how helpful she'd found Calmer.
Below you will find Tara's story of how she developed sound sensitivities after having tested positive for COVID-19 and then developing symptoms of long COVID.
Thank you so much Tara for this very insightful and thoughtful blog.
Find out more about Calmer here
My name is Tara and I am 26 years old. In my free time, I like to go for walks in the park, play video games, watch horror movies, and study the Korean language. I have a 11-year-old cat named Vader and he is my entire world.
In early January, 2021, I tested positive for COVID-19. In mid-February, my doctors and I concluded that I was a “long hauler.” While the “classic” COVID symptoms subsided – respiratory problems, headaches, sinus congestion, etc. – I developed a whole host of other problems that I didn’t have before COVID. One of those problems has been extreme sensitivity to sounds. I have found myself getting incredibly irritated when people talk to me at a certain volume or when there is too much going on around me. Even after my family and I were all fully vaccinated, I avoided joining them for get-togethers solely because it was far too overwhelming. The few times I tried, I had to leave less than an hour in.
There have been several times I have gone into the grocery store for a few things and had to abandon my basket or cart, leave, and cry in my car from what felt like a panic attack. It was all because there was just too much sound and my brain just can’t handle that anymore.
Due to the lingering neurological problems I’ve had due to COVID – including auditory processing problems – I had to resign from my job. I worked in retail for two years before contracting COVID and I am positive I would not have been able to handle simple things like coins hitting the counter, the tills opening and closing, the beeps of the registers, and all the customers talking at once. I’ve been unemployed since late February and I haven’t seen much improvement in my symptoms since then.
It was around that time that I saw an ad for Calmer on Facebook. I ignored it, like most ads, but I kept seeing it for weeks. And considering the amount of trouble I was having, I decided it couldn’t hurt to try them. And I was desperate. After months of feeling like my brain was broken and relief was impossible, I needed to try. I ordered a pair.
The day they came, my mom and I decided to go out for dinner to see if they would make a difference. We went out to a restaurant on a Friday night. The place was packed, there were children and babies screaming, a group of 8+ people were having a birthday party, and the phone was ringing off the hook. Normally, I’d have said, “Nope” and walked right out. I wanted to try though. We were seated and I just looked around the restaurant and took note of all the noises that were all happening at once. Then, I almost cried. It felt like magic. It was like all the noises were sent to the background. My mom eventually spoke and I could hear her clear as day, but everything around us was like white noise on a television. For the first time in months, I felt better.
Now, I don’t go anywhere without them. They make a massive difference in my ability to handle day-to-day activities. Even watching TV and listening to music is easier now. Before, I avoided going outside when it was nice out because birds chirping was at a pitch I absolutely could not tolerate. Now I can go for walks in the park again and actually enjoy it. For months, I’ve been telling my doctors, “merely existing is just hard now.” But now, existing is easier. My quality of life has drastically improved just because of two tiny little things that go in my ears. It’s truly incredible. I will probably never go anywhere without them again.
Thank you so much Tara - this was such a brilliant blog to receive and we're so pleased that Calmer have been so helpful.
(...and what a beautiful cat Vader is!)
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