Saturday, July 7, 2007
Phonophobia and Photophobia
What is phonophobia?
It's the heightened sensitivity to sound and what I find really interesting is that the sound does not have to be loud. When my son is entering the pre-migraine phase, he is often phonophobic and becomes very irritable. Hearing a conversation at a normal volume is very unpleasant for him. According to his neurologist, there is no way to desensitize him. He just has to learn to cope with this sensitivity.
What do I do when my son is phonophobic?
I merely try to get him to concentrate on relaxing and limit the amount of sound in his environment. As you can imagine, this is really hard when a younger sibling is present! Usually, my son has a meltdown, and with help eventually relaxes and calms down.
Some children and adults experience a heightened sensitivity to light rather than sound. This is called photophobia, and many people who experience this feel better in a dark or dimly lit room.
It turns out that I am phonophobic and never knew this until my son's migraines were diagnosed. It seems that this phenomena is becoming more well known today, and many people that I meet who are also migraineurs admit they can't stand certain sounds when they have a migraine.