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Phonophobia, acousticophobia, sonophobia, or ligyrophobia is the fear of sounds, especially loud sounds, including voices and noises. This phobia is most commonly caused by being scared by sounds, especially a sudden loud sound, such as fire alarms, fireworks, balloons popping, or speakers. People suffering this phobia would avoid going near objects where they emit sounds while covering their ears in a quiet room. Many of the weaker sufferers would not bear pleasant soft sounds. Most sufferers would avoid going out, especially to loud environments like concerts, parades and carnivals, readily leading to agoraphobia. Sufferers would not participate in Fourth of July festivities while avoiding hearing fireworks by hiding in the small, windowless interior room for all day.

Phonophobics would feel a slight dread when suddenly hearing a soft to moderate sound, but hearing loud sounds would result in panic with heavy breathing and anxiety. Phonophobia is often treated using cognitive-behavioral therapy and exposure therapy, which involves having patient prepare to hear a sudden small dose of sound and increase in loudness little by little subsequently.

See also

Phobias of the five senses
Photophobia (fear of sight) · Phonophobia (fear of sounds) · Osmophobia (fear of odors) · Gaumaphobia (fear of taste) · Haphephobia (fear of touch)