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A woman has spoke out about her extreme ear phobia which has even caused her to throw up while getting her hair cut.

Teacher Holly Hardy-Johnson has Aftiphobia, defined as a ‘fear of ears’, which has affected her life as far back as she can remember.

As well as not being able to have her ears touched, she also cannot touch other people’s ears.

The phobia has meant that 36-year-old Holly has struggled since she was a child to get her hair cut, with past hairdressing appointments causing her to vomit and to be in a constant state of anxiety.

Speaking to Cheshire Live Holly said: “I’ve always had a problem with people touching my ears and I can’t touch other people’s ears.

“It’s a very strange thing. I was a zookeeper for many years and the only ears I was fine with were animals.

“I’ve always avoided haircuts. I always wait until I absolutely have to go. Most women find it a pleasurable experience, I just do it because it needs to be done.

“It can be awful. In the past I’ve been sick when I’ve gone and had my haircut. I’m anxious the whole time, I have to sit on my hands to stop myself from jumping about.

“Just the whole process from going through the hairdressers’ door to leaving is awful. The hairdressers are always wonderful, it’s just me.”

She has previously struggled to book hair appointments in advance as she becomes too anxious during the wait and has to go into a salon to get her cut done there and then.

But despite the extreme fear, Holly has decided to brave a haircut for charity.

With hairdressers now back open following months of closure, Holly said she needed to pay a visit but decided that she wanted to use it to try and benefit someone.

She is hoping to raise a total of £550 for the Little Princess Trust by cutting off more than seven inches of her hair at Salon 21 in Nantwich.

The target is roughly the amount it costs for someone going through the process with the charity.

Holly said: “My theory on it is that we’ve all lived through a pandemic, but children and young people have gone through it with serious health conditions – that’s a different ball game.”

She has as of Thursday raised more than £300, which she described as “unbelievable” but said it was as much about raising awareness as it was about the money.