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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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information! This explains a lot about the migraines I've been having.

Juliana verch Hoell said...

Actually you cn be both.

Just getting over a migraine today. I had to put me cell phone on the lowest ringer setting and it stil sounded like it was on the highest.

Dealing with the light, I end up going to bed with the lights off, the blinds and curtains closed along with a cold washcloth on my head.

Been dealing with migraines since I was about 5. Since my mother was also dealt with migraine she knew what I was dealing with.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I was so excited to come across your blog. I have had migraines since I was 7. I'm now 43. I was not officially diagnosed until I was around 20. Drs. told my mother I was allergic to chocolate, or my diet in some way needed changing, however, they didn't really offer any advice on what changes needed to be made.

I've learned a lot about migraines through trial and error, and through others who have suffered. I think the format you've chosen to share your insights is fantastic.

I'm especially glad that you have acknowledged your childs suffering as what it is. So many children are told that they are "too young" to be experiencing headaches. I truly believe this is a disability and can rob you of so much life. I see more and more people coming out and talking about it as such. It gives me hope that in my lifetime I'll see a cure to this horrible "disease"!

Thanks for your blog!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Barbara and Tom Smith said...

Dear Robin:
I am developing a PowerPoint presentation dealing with migraine headaches, and would like permission to use the picture of the little girl (yours?) on the slide when I discuss phonophobia. May I have that permission?
Tom Smith

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