Posted 3/31/2020 11:42 AM (GMT -6)
You said you have trouble with sounds bothering you, stating,
"For example, living as I do in a block of flats the slightest noise can make me have a livid meltdown. Earlier on today, someone decided to stand outside my flat and talk for half an hour rather than go for a walk. Now I live on a ground floor flat and people like that is why I can never open my window." ...."The only alternative is to wear ear plugs 24/7, but that gets hard on my ears."
I have problems with noise, also, having hyperacusis, which means every noise sounds louder than it is. It is maddening.
One way I try to combat that is, outgoing softer sound waves can reduce incoming louder sound waves when the two meet, or plus 5 minus 5 equals 0. It won't necessarily stop the incoming, but it can reduce it, which is what I want.
To do this, I have fans that have 3 speeds, and I try to put the fan between where I am and where the noise is coming through the window, and can put it up on a chair to be even with the window. What noise gets through the closed window is reduced, and the weakened noise meets the fan sound waves and is further reduced.
And the fan can be increased to the 2nd or 3rd level. Sometimes the fan can become too loud and we can back up into another room and close the door. If I want to stay in the same room with the fan, I can try to put up a barrier between me and the fan such as a light board of some kind such as paneling, or a card board box or two, or a chair with a pillow and a blanket on it.
At my place, the heat/a.c. fan is always running to keep a slight sound wave effect always going for the unexpected.
Box fans have more volume, but plastic swival fans that stand on the floor or on a piece of furniture have a softer sound, especially on low, but they can be turned up to 2 or 3. So I would suggest at least one of each according to what's going on outside. I would also suggest a spare in case one of them goes out in the winter and they don't sell them anymore at the drug store.
And try to come up with a board, 6 feet by 6 feet is a guess, in case you need to get behind that. Perhaps put a blanket over it.
Over the head sound reducers (net or maybe Walmart gun department) can help, if you tire of the plugs. I like the silicon (bubblegum) plugs the best from the drugstore. So I would have both on hand.
Top level for me is, one fan by the window where sound is coming in, one fan by door I am behind, a third fan in the room where I am, plugs and over the head sound protectors.
If you get behind a door where the one or two fans are, the door can block the fan noise, even on high, and you can watch TV, rest or read a book without plugs or over the head protectors.