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Fear Of Loud Sounds, Voices: Phonophobia Causes & Treatments

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Loud noises can be a source of fear and anxiety for some people, and this fear can be debilitating and interfere with daily life. Fear of loud sounds, also known as phonophobia, is a type of specific phobia that can cause intense fear and anxiety when exposed to loud noises or even the anticipation of loud noises.

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Causes of Phonophobia

The root cause of the fear of loud sounds is not fully understood. However, it is believed that the fear may be related to a traumatic experience, such as a car accident or a loud explosion. It is also possible that a person may have inherited a tendency to be more sensitive to loud noises.

Symptoms of Phonophobia

The primary symptom of fear of loud noises is intense fear and anxiety when exposed to loud noises. Other symptoms may include:

  • Sweating
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Shaking or trembling 
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Feeling faint 
  • Panic attacks

Treatment for Phonophobia

Treatment for fear of loud noises is typically cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals identify and challenge their irrational beliefs and behaviors to help reduce fear and anxiety. Exposure therapy is another type of therapy that can be used to treat the fear of loud noises. Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing the individual to the source of fear or anxiety in a safe environment. This allows the individual to gradually become more comfortable with the fear-provoking situation.

Coping with Fear of Loud Noises

In addition to therapy, there are several coping strategies that can be used to help reduce fear and anxiety. These strategies include:

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  • Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing can help calm the body and reduce fear and anxiety.
  • Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation can help focus the mind on the present moment and reduce fear and anxiety.
  • Visualization: Visualization can help create a sense of calm and relaxation.
  • Positive self-talk: Positive self-talk can help to challenge irrational thoughts and reduce fear and anxiety.
  • Exercise: Exercise can help to reduce stress and anxiety.


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