Hyperacusis, hypersensitivity to noise, is less well known than tinnitus, but there are many people who suffer more or less severely from it.
In this section “Marga hears too much” Marga van Hintum blogs about her experiences with Hyperacusis regularly.
Coffee with noise
Coffee, yeah! I can really enjoy it. I am a genuine coffee drinker. In moderation, admittedly. In the morning 2 small cups. In the evening too. Actually, it should be better not to drink so much coffee in the evening, but I do sleep well. And well, it’s so good…
In the beginning there was the kettle on the gas stove. It was a matter of boiling water in the kettle. Coffee beans were being grinded; oh, how nice that smelled! And then soak it up with a filter on a coffee pot. Just like at my mother’s home. Although at some point with a thermos, the coffee stayed nice and warm.
Then came a coffee maker with a filter. An ultramodern machine. From now on everything was automatic. When it was extruded, it roared a bit. Coffee ready!
We skip a few years in the history of coffee. At a certain moment the pad machine came into use. I didn’t follow the advertisements straight away. But there was eventually one in the kitchen to come. Nice and handy. Every cup was freshly put. Handy especially, because I was the only coffee drinker in the house.
Also here everything went automatically. I didn’t even have to do the quick filter grind in the filter anymore! And I didn’t have to shake the remaining coffee in a thermos anymore too. Because the second cup was freshly brewed again.
I sound like an advertising agency…
My workstations had very different coffee machines. One was rather disgusting, because the coffee was made from a kind of syrup, diluted with hot water. Yuck! But another one was delicious, with freshly ground beans. I was spoiled there!
And then I came home for good. I stopped working. I missed the work. And I missed the good coffee. After a long period of dubbing, a few years ago, I made the decision. With the help of the internet, I had found one. That was the One. I had found the least noisy fully automatic espresso machine of its kind; and that was it. There was a hellish machine in the kitchen; a real fully automatic one. From a solid brand. An entry-level model, admittedly, but that shouldn’t spoil the coffee fun. I enjoyed every cup of espresso. That smell of facilitating coffee; a downright perfume!
But oh, what an uproar that machine made during the grinding. And to think, my machine was the least noisy! That was the only disadvantage, really. Cleaning and descaling, that was never the problem. I did that well and regularly. But during the grinding, the fingers had to be in my ears! I couldn’t get used to the noise of the grinder. For a person with healthy ears that was already a lot of noise, let alone a hyperacusist*. But then came the reward: a delicious cup of coffee! Mmmmmmm…
And then fate struck. Machine broken. The end of the fun. It suddenly stopped. How could that be? I had always taken good care of and cherished the machine. What to do now? I made some attempts to get it working again, using the internet of course. It was to no avail.
But I still had paper filters somewhere, luckily. And there was a bean grinder with pendulum as an ornament on the closet. It was well dusted and immediately put into use.
For the time being I put the kettle on in the morning and evening. Without whistle ! And now I grind the beans myself. By hand. With the bean grinder with pendulum. It makes much less noise, I must say. And it is a mindfull moment, twice a day. A moment of meditation. Sit with the bean grinder between the knees. And turn it around. Also a great work out.
And then there is the enjoyment of a fresh cup of coffee, delicious coffee. Mmmmmm … !
* Hyperacusis, literally “I hear too much”, is a condition where you are hypersensitive to ordinary everyday sounds. Everything sounds too loud. “The volume knob of ambient sounds stands for someone with hyperacusis permanently at too high a setting” (source: foundation Hoormij)
Hyperacusis occurs in many forms. For me, especially higher frequencies are very annoying and hurt my head. I also have tinnitus. Concentration is more difficult and focusing on a sound source is more difficult.