Noise Sensitivity and Fibromyalgia

A quiet conversation can feel like a loudspeaker in your ear.

Noise sensitivity is becoming a common complaint among fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue sufferers.

According to a poll, it ranked as the second highest sensitivity among fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue sufferers.

Noise sensitivities can affect people differently, according to a post by Adrienne Dellwo, Fibrmyalgia&CFS Blog writer.

It might be the volume level alone, it might be a repetitive sound, or it might be a multitude of sounds — no matter the source, it can cause anxiety, panic, and even widespread pain as the receptors in our brains become overwhelmed.

I have not noticed a single noise or sound that repeatedly affects me.  For example, some days I can listen to the TV at a certain volume and other days it will be too loud.  I think I become more sensitive to noise during flare ups.

I’m also more sensitive to noises when I am stressed out, which unfortunately stresses me out even more.

When I am experiencing noise sensitivity, I get awful tension headaches that stick around for hours.  Usually taking Excedrin or ibuprofen alleviates the headache.

Do you experience noise sensitivities? Under what circumstances? How do you remedy the effects? Leave your comments below.

Photo courtesy of luisvilla.


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10 Responses to Noise Sensitivity and Fibromyalgia

  1. Christine says:

    Very interesting, thank you for sharing! At first I was going to respond that I don’t seem to have noise sensitivities, as volume does not bother me. But then you mentioned repetitive noises, and THIS yes sets me off! A clicking of a pen repeatedly or what not. Like you said, when stressed it causes me more stress just hearing it, and its like a whirlwind spiral downhill. I feel like I am affected by light more, as often I am turning down the brightness of my computer monitors.

    • kristenthometz says:

      Christine,
      Thanks for sharing! Reading your comment just made me realize I have had an episode with repeated noises. My mother was clicking her pen non-stop while she was thinking…I had to get up and walk away before I lost my cool. Occasionally I have issues with light sensitivity too. I also often turn down the brightness of computer monitors. I notice I have issues with light usually in the morning and late at night.

      Kristen

  2. fibrorelief says:

    I recently noticed the same thing, after being told I had superhero ears, and did some research on it. It’s called hyperacusis and it’s ridiculous! Today I sat at the park and could hear the power lines so bad that I had to go sit in my car with the radio on. No one else seemed to notice it, I mentioned it to my co-worker and she was headed up there, she couldn’t even hear it when she was there! Just another ‘joy of fibro’ I guess! ;)

    • kristenthometz says:

      Leana,

      It sure seems like joys of fibro are endless, especially when the weather is bad. Hope your flares settle and you escape the dreaded fog.

      Kristen

  3. Pingback: wait, what did you just tell me? « Fibro relief's Blog

  4. Mariann says:

    This is a super-great article! I’ve experienced this. My fibro has been so bad this past few weeks, I’ve had a horrible time. We live in Tx. and it’s 15 degrees as I try to type this. I have a lot of headaches, from noise and light. My hubs is hearing empaired and I was thinking this was from the volume of the TV etc. A good part of the time I need to repeat myself so he understands, some days it’s so bad I need to go to my sewing room and close the door, or the bedroom and close the door for a while. I’ve even tried to use my iPod in the room with hubs, but that doesn’t help at all. I have to vacant the area… :) Anyway, thank you for this (again) super-great article, and I shall read your blog with enthusiasm.

    • kristenthometz says:

      Mariann,

      Thank you for sharing. I find myself requesting people to turn down the TV or leave the room as well. That’s pretty cold for Texas…I’m in Chicago and we just had that awful blizzard roll through here, which of course caused a small flare up. Hope the headaches subside.

      Kristen

      • Thanks for the interesting data here on fibro, especially the noise link. I’ve had fibro for years and only recently have noticed a hypersensity to noise. I figured it was merely another “gift” of aging gracefully! To tolerate noises in general, I have begun wearing the little soft foam ear plugs when I find my tolerance level wearing thin.

        I think our winter is fading away! (I live in southern lower Il.) Can’t wait to get out in the garden and work on the flower beds.

        Best of the best to you,
        Jeanne

  5. Rosemary Lee says:

    I have a number of sensitivities… Noise is just one of them. Usually just getting away from offending sound will help. If it gets to the point of a headache, i’m in trouble. The weather, combined with humidity, doesn’t help either!!

    • kristenthometz says:

      Rosemary Lee,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, getting away from the offending noise helps, but in some instances that isn’t always possible. For instance sometimes just the sound of a normal conversation can seem too loud for me — strange, I know — but fortunately that doesn’t happen all too often.

      Thank you for reading.
      Kristen

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