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Adrienne Dellwo

Noise Sensitivity in Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By August 14, 2010

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To the common person, a lot of noise can possibly cause a headache and irritability. When you have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, loud, repetitive, grating or otherwise annoying sounds can cause a whole host of symptoms. A recent blog comment here said it really well:

"After  an hour or so in an environment with more than 2 or 3 people, I find I do not sleep well and that, within hours, my muscles, especially in my legs, and my hand and knee joints hurt quite significantly and no drug I have lessens the pain.  If I stay alone, in a quiet space, for a few days the pain does decrease to manageable levels.  I want to run away, be alone, not interact with anyone. It's as if all noises around me are all at the same level, demanding the same amount of attention and this is incredibly tiring.  Public places in general are awful."  -Clare

I really related to what Clare said about all noises demanding the same amount of attention. It's similar to what my dad described when he got hearing aids -- without the brain to filter the signals and determine what's important, you notice the car driving by as much as the person talking to you. I have to think that our brains, somehow, fail to filter out the sensory input that's not important, leaving us bombarded and overwhelmed with all the stimuli.

This aspect of our conditions hasn't been studied as much as the biggies -- pain and fatigue -- but some pain findings actually do lend some support to this idea. Most people have what's called an inhibitory response to repeated sensations. That means once they've felt something and their brains have determined it's not a threat, the response to it gets progressively weaker. A tight waistband, a shoe that rubs the Achilles tendon just a little, a slightly rough bedsheet are things everyone notices, but only at first. According to studies, those of us with fibromyalgia don't get to tune out these "harmless" sensations. Instead, our nerves over-react to them, sending more and more pain signals at every contact, and instead of filtering those signals out like it should, our brains seize hold of them and crank up the volume.

Most people have a similar inhibitory response to sound. I used to, as well. I worked in a TV newsroom, where we had multiple police scanners and the many phones rang almost constantly. A phone could ring half a dozen times before it really caught my attention. The scanner noise would fade into the background. When fibromyalgia set in, however, all of those things overwhelmed me completely. Recently, I was sitting in a fast-food restaurant and a beeper kept going off for long chunks of time. I ceased being able to focus on what my husband was saying. With each beep, I got more and more agitated -- it was almost like an electrical current running through every nerve in my body. I felt the first twinges of pain start in my abdomen. I had to fight panic and try my best not to tense up all over.

I do several things to counter these kinds of episodes, which can be the result of visual over-stimulation or general sensory chaos as well:

  • Carry supplements that help with anxiety (for me, theanine and DHEA work well)
  • Breathe deeply
  • Actively work to calm my mind
  • Avoid noisy, chaotic environments (as I write this, my husband is at a big indoor playland with the kids. I don't go there.)
  • Get out of these situations as quickly as possible
  • Go off by myself and meditate for awhile to mitigate the after effects

Are you sensitive to noise? What symptoms does it trigger? Have you found things that help? Leave your comments below?

Learn more or join the conversation!


Photo © John Pickelle/Getty Images

August 14, 2010 at 10:03 am
(1) Dana says:

My neighbor put up 3 ft long wind chimes. I thought I would go nuts. I begged and begged and they moved them to the other side of their house. I have another neighbor who leaves a dog outside that barks all the time. Trying to concentrate with noise like that is impossible.

August 14, 2010 at 10:14 am
(2) Angela says:

I totally agree with the above comment and the article. I am SO sensitive to noise now …It is like everyday noise is magnified so I can hear things so much better than those around me and the worse part is is that the sounds can really get on my nerves.

August 14, 2010 at 10:43 am
(3) Carmen says:

For me it is instant nausea and/or migraines. It is difficult sometimes to even go into public. The drop of a fork across a restaurant, metal wind chimes as mentioned above really make me sick, the constant beep because some isn’t looking at their text message. I do the deep breathing and I carry Phenegran Gel that I rub on my wrist for the nausea. I have pills that I take also, but the gel is a more instant relief. And then sometimes it is just like a sensory overload. I can hear every noise in the room and it kind of makes you claustrophobic. It’s good to know that I’m not the only, I’m not just crazy.

August 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm
(4) abotbensussen says:

I remember as a young girl not wanting to go to my big and noisy high school. all the people milling about and the loud bells ringing between classes was just too much for me. Now that was 55 years ago, I hadn’t been diagnosed with anything yet. So I spent the last two years of high school in a boarding school out in the country with only 90 students in all 4 grades. It’s strange to look into our pasts and see the very clear beginnings of a different kind of brain. It’s not neurosis, it’s brain differences.

August 14, 2010 at 12:39 pm
(5) Marci says:

Yes, constant noise drives me crazy. I feel like it keeps getting louder the longer I’m in the situation. It’s even worse when I’m already stressed. I feel very panicky, and have to plug my ears or remove myself from the situation. I didn’t realize it could be related to fibromyalgia.

August 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm
(6) karen says:

Applause: what a problem I have with loud clapping and whistling.Once a guy behind me at a baseball game was using a dollar bill as a whistle maker, causing me terrible jolts of pain.And there used to be a springer spaniel across the street that barked constantly right up into my bedroom window, reducing me to tears.Teenagers pulling up in their cars with their radios blasting at night,distrupting my sleep.I used to sleep through anything except bad smells. Even this air conditioner bothers me. Ha! I have this clock radio that plays soothing waves,tumbling in and rolling back and then YAK! a seagull screams! Over and over!

August 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm
(7) Devaney says:

My boyfriend never gets why I’m always complaining about normal noise on the phone. It actually hurts my ears. I have no way to explain this to him. I’m hoping this article will help, thank you so much!

October 3, 2011 at 9:22 am
(8) Carolyn says:

Me too!!!! I’m always telling my husband that the telephone “hurts” me if the volume is too high!

August 14, 2010 at 10:11 pm
(9) shondelle says:

i dont even like to talk on the phone tv forget about it i turn it way down to like 8 and it goes up to 100

August 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(10) Melissa says:

In the last 5 months I have really noticed how much every day noises bother me. Th television being too loud, a barking dog or my kids whining or screaching!! It’s really difficult since I have three young boys I feel like I am constantly telling them to quiet down and the noise just seems to echo and ring in my head and literally hurts my ears!

August 15, 2010 at 1:36 am
(11) Lee Ann Ray says:

I have really thought I was losing my mind til I read this these comments. I would come to my bedroom where it is quiet and hardly no light, I would lay here watch movies, sleep for hours and actually feel better. I have hearing senses that have soared I can hear, hear , hear and light sensitivity. I am so depressed. I am on ultram and Neurontin. They will not give me anything stronger, oh now I am on Suvella, vomiting, vomiting, stomach running off and nausea. Ok! There has got to be something out there. Please help me!!!!!!

August 15, 2010 at 9:22 am
(12) Paul says:

Before I became sick I invested in something I had always wanted – a top-of-the-line surround sound music system. During the 8 months of my initial CFS attack the music became nothing but oppressive noise. I lived within a shell with little stimulation outside of talk radio for that whole time.

When I’m not fatigued I can listen to music as I used to but during the fatigue periods I can handle only low volume for music. Discordant sound for any long period is still out of the question because it brings on a “body migraine” that can last for days.

August 15, 2010 at 11:22 am
(13) anne says:

Add me to the list of, “I’m glad I’m not alone”. Loud noises or chaotic environments have always bothered me, but have become unbearable in recent years. I’ve always wondered about any connections between FM/CFS and sensory processing problems (and/or faulty pain relay systems). I hope and pray my daughter (who had OT for sensory difficulties when a toddler) won’t grow up to have FM/CFS.
How is it that people can say, “There’s nothing wrong with you!” when just being in a room with other humans can be physically painful?
I often dream of becoming a recluse…….
PS: for those of you with iPhone/iTouch apps……there are some interesting free ones to help with relaxation & sleep.

August 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm
(14) Donna says:

I have the same issue with general noise and trying to prioritize/filter out noises.

But I’ve not seen anyone mention my most annoying reaction to noise – with any sudden noise, the accompanying rush of adrenaline HURTS my skin (or the blood vessels) – all of my skin. It feels as if my veins/arteries have been filled with acid or as if I’ve got very densely packed porcupine quills trying to emerge from under my skin – enough of these reactions in a short period of time and my skin will feel bruised for up to a week.

All that doesn’t even take into account the constant noise of tinnitus

August 16, 2010 at 5:54 am
(15) jubilana says:

Like many others here, I was so relieved to read this post. Thought I was just hypersensitive. I find the increased volume for commercials etc on TV just excruciating!!

Thanks so much for all you do to bring us this important and helpful information.

August 16, 2010 at 8:11 am
(16) Gary says:

I’ve had fibromyalgia and noise sensitivity for over 10 years. I have one best friend when it comes to excessive noise: earplugs! They’ve made the biggest difference for my rest in the last ten years, and I also use them at times when I’m reading and others are around. I even bring a pair with me if I’m going to the local bookstore, and using them has really kept me from getting more stimulus provoked.

August 16, 2010 at 8:30 am
(17) shoshana says:

thanks for the article. i was at a dinner party when my neighbor sat tapping the table with the fork. i nearly went mad and maybe wrongly took the fork out of his hand and asked him to stop. the family now do not speak to me – but my vertigo started and i felt like I was having a panic attack. others just do not understand. it is incessant noises that are the worst for me. a dripping tap, a car alarm, a child crying. oh well i cannot live in a vacuum.

August 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm
(18) Jodith says:

OMG, I thought I was the only one that had panic attacks from those stupid fryers at fast food restaurants. Most of the time, I won’t go inside. I’ll go through the drive through and eat in the car or take it home.

I don’t even let the microwave beep. I try to turn it off before the timer counts down to zero *laughs*. And as you say, it’s not just sounds. I have trouble with smells (avoid the detergent aisle at the store at all costs), as well as flashing lights or overly bright lights (which is why I hate Walmart…lights are just to bright and glaring).

My husband, who also had FMS, has to remove the tags from all of his shirts because he can’t stand the feel of them against his neck.

Shoshana…I’ve done the same thing in the past, just taken something away from someone. I took a ball away from a coworker because they insisted on bouncing it in the office. I asked them to stop and they wouldn’t, so I just took it away. Repetitive noises like that will trigger a migraine in me every time.

August 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(19) Karen says:

I cannot believe this is yet another symptom of FMS and CFS. Starting many years ago when the phone in a business would just KEEP ringing, a fork being scraped across someones teeth, someone who shuffles instead of picking up their feet when they walk, the television, the radio, the CD player and on and on it goes, it has become a family joke, I have bionic ears and my husband is hard of hearing. He actually does have a hearing problem, but always said I cannot believe the things you hear! The wonderful cool evenings listening to the frogs or birds is so relaxing tho, so there are good sounds, but not alot, especially during the long daylight hours or the heat of summer, it just seems to magnify things.

August 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm
(20) Michelle says:

I so agree and just thought it was me and I was going crazy. I hate being in loud crowds and can’t wait to get out of there and I can’t stand loud music. If my huband and I are in the car, I always have to lower the music and it drives him nuts. I will have to share this post with him.

August 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm
(21) Paula Dulson says:

This is the first time i have added my own comment although the information within this site is so helpful, but i really felt that i was going mad, loud noise makes me so ill, i had to move into a new apartment because i couldn;t stand hearing my partner around the house and would nag him constantly, although i am deaf to some extent in one ear and find it difficult hearing one voice if there is any background noise, during the last few months i have become really sensitive to noise to the point where i get really angry and have an anxiety atack, Thank you for helping me to understand this is another symptom of my Fibromyalgia

August 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm
(22) Rani says:

I’m very sensitive to noise, and it seems the longer I have fibro, the more sensitive I’m getting, especially to repetitive and/or noises. Construction noises (particularly electric saws and hammering), barking dogs, and loud vehicles shoot my BP off the charts, make my entire body tense, and cause my pain level to instantly jump. And then there’re the evil thoughts of what I’d like to do to the *makers* of the horrible noises (tee hee) . . . >;)

I’d always thought this was associated with ADD that I was diagnosed with — which I now believe I do NOT have; it was fibro all along. And like everyone else who’s commented, it’s so nice not to be alone in this.

Note to Lee Ann Ray about the Savella: I don’t know how long you’ve been on it, but the nausea/vomiting, etc., should go away after several weeks. My doc put me on Phenergan to combat this when I started taking it because the nausea was so awful for me, too, but that med has been a godsend — it’s dropped my pain level by a noticeable amount, whereas Neurontin didn’t do anything but make me crazy and fat. I know not all meds work for everyone, and the initial side effects of Savella *are* brutal, but try to stick with it if you can — hopefully you’ll be lucky as I am and it’ll work for you.

Peace and quiet to all!

Rani :)

August 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(23) Joan says:

I am so thankful that it isn’t just me. I need to have my husband to read this. We go grocery shopping every Thursday to the same store and every time their are babies or toddlers screaming or crying – loudly. My anxiety goes up and my body starts hurting and Friday morning I am always hurting more. Loud voices, the window A.C., get togethers, the cicada’s outside, the list goes on and on… Certain lights make my eyes go crazy and get dry and cause light headedness and some anxiery. Fm is such a fun thing to have… :J

August 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(24) christen says:

I have a different sensitivity to noise that I did not see discussed here and I’ve never mentioned it to anyone because, I too thought I was going crazy! If it is very quiet in the house, like late at night, and the only sound is that of appliances running, like the fridge, I can actually hear what almost sounds like distant music and/or people talking! I have actually walked through the house looking for a radio that’s been left on or something. As soon as the appliance stops running, the noise stops. Weird, I know. Only after reading this article do I wonder if the noise could be from the increased sensitivity. ANYONE ever experience anything like this?

August 20, 2010 at 4:30 pm
(25) Rani says:

I meant to say “repetitive and/or loud noises.” Sorry! Brain working faster than fingers today. :)

August 20, 2010 at 4:32 pm
(26) Joan says:

Christen, I am so glad you wrote that.. When we would have the bedroom AC on at night and all else was quiet, I would hear what sounded like voices or music, too. I thought I was going crazy… LOL Sorry we both have to experience this. Just had to let you know!

August 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm
(27) Rani says:

Christen and Joan . . . you’re not alone. Me three. I’ve just always figured it was my neighbors.

Surely this is just some kind of brain overstimulation thing that our poor little already overtaxed neurological systems can’t process like a non-fibro person’s brain would? That or the three of us are going to be meeting in person very soon in a well-padded room . . .

August 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm
(28) Paula Driver says:

Wow.. this is a great article and describes me better then I could…whistle really bothers me, the loud beeps, finger/hand tapping… really just repetitive sounds I can’t stand….It is such a relieve to me to know that others experience the same thing.

August 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm
(29) Marian says:

Add me to the list! I find even normal-level noise casues me pain. I have to ask people to talk quietly and can’t stand it when the ads on TV come up louder than the show. It is like knives being stuck in my head. My whole system recoils and I actually can’t make out individual words. It’s much worse at night when I am tired. Any extra noise, like tapping fingers or a blind flapping in the wind drives me nuts, it’s like actually being hit.

Bright light is another thing that causes intense pain and sometimes migraine. I often have to turn off the main light and would much prefer to sit in a darkened room. Sunlight bouncing off my husband’s watch when he drives makes me feel ill.

As for hearing music – if there is a degree of hearing loss it is not that uncommon to hear ‘music’. Tinnitus is at the low end of the scale. Apparently the brain fills in the gaps in the absence of real noise stimulation. I don’t think I’ve explained it properly – but it is called musical ear syndrome if you want to find out more.

August 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm
(30) Lois says:

Oh yes! I so relate to this problem. This along with light sensitivity triggering migraines so easily has all but turned me into a hermit. People know me as the hat lady because I go everywhere, indoors or out, in hats and dark glasses. I would rather slash my own throat than go to a Chucky Cheese type place.

I often have to ask my husband to lower his voice because it hurts so much if he gets too loud…a volume that probably bothers no one else.

Of course, when I am the most sensitive, I am also the most painful.

August 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm
(31) Debbie says:

Sounds, light, temp, environment…..etc. Yes, this is the gift that keeps on giving isn’t it? When listening to tv or radio I hear phones ringing, doorbell sounds, odd tones…..drives me crazy! I sure wish we could get people to understand just what we go through even though we “look okay”. If they only knew.

August 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm
(32) Pam says:

Thank you so much for this website. It’s such a relief to know we are not alone with our symptoms.

I have actually had to leave a cart of groceries sit in the middle of the store because of the noise and commotion going on around me, especially if the aisles are crowded. I feel like I’m being suffocated. I’ve learned to shop at quieter times of the day or my husband does the grocery shopping. We used to enjoy high school basketball games, but I haven’t been to a game in years now.

August 20, 2010 at 6:46 pm
(33) Sue McD says:

I find that people’s chatter that goes on and on is the most irritating. It makes me want to scream. I use a ‘white noise’ machine at night to sleep. And relaxation before bedtime for a couple of hours is mandatory, otherwise I will not get any sleep.

August 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm
(34) Barbara says:

Thanx for your article and all the readers comments. Add me to your list. I ,also, have ringing in my ears and I am getting hard of hearing. I can’t understand that one! I just ventured back into the world to get more social connects, but more than 5 people I start to be overwhelmed with the noise. My neighbors love loud music, and it really drives me up the wall. Feels like my nerves are shattering plus it tires me out even more. I have begun to wear earplugs before I get too nervous.
And I have to wear my ear plugs when we go to the movies. I am so thankful for my home where I can control the noise level. Too bad we have to live such a reclusive life, but I have begun to enjoy it. After raising 4 sons. at 70, It is great to have “me” time. All the books I have read in the last 10 years, if I could only remember them!!haha!

August 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm
(35) Diane says:

When I walked into the door of Macys I immediatly noticed the over head music system. Wayyyyyyyy too loud. I was trying to talk to a clerk and I mentioned that the music was extremely loud. She said that some people feel the same way. ( Probably all of you shop there….ha ha ). Anyway, I got hungry and stopped at 5 Guys for a burger. The noise level was insane !!! I wrapped the burger and took it home. So, here I am with the burger in front of me in the quiet of my room.

August 20, 2010 at 10:05 pm
(36) Gail says:

Repetitive noises make me more and more frantic the longer the repetition lasts. It hurts. Too much conversation makes my ears hurt. The beeper on the french fry machine at McDonalds is unbearable. Fire and ambulance sirens are unbearably painful. Voices that are shrill or shouting are painful. I avoid crowds because, for me, they are plagues.

August 20, 2010 at 10:53 pm
(37) bmotor63 says:

I had never realized that my noise irritation could have something to do with my FM/CFS. I cannot stand to go to Wal-Mart and listen to the check-out registers! There are many other times that I feel anxious about being around noisy areas. Again it is good to know that it is not all in my head!

August 20, 2010 at 11:59 pm
(38) hannah says:

I now take ear plugs with me everywhere i go and panic in case i forget them. I am so glad this article came up….i will have to show it to family and friends who think i am rather odd with all my noise sensitivities. Cannot get to sleep without the ear-plugs and often wear them at home in the daytime too! I worry about noise constantly.

August 21, 2010 at 12:46 am
(39) Pam says:

I have noticed at times I have to hold the phone away from my head, just to loud, feels like my heads vibrating sort of. Never had this problem prior to getting CFS since 06.

August 21, 2010 at 6:56 am
(40) NubbleTheCat says:

I’m with just about all of you on your comments. I am a night-shift worker so I use earplugs regularly. I even carry them in my purse…just in case. I work at a hospital, so you can imagine the beeps ALL the time. I also work with new born babies and they are NOT quiet! I always have my lunch break alone in a quiet room.

But, yes, noise makes my skin hurt, my ears ache and someone said something about appliances. I can hear a refrigerator motor from rooms away.

August 21, 2010 at 8:13 am
(41) vera says:

I am in the same boat with all of you. It’s like we have these attacks to our senses. The noise…while I now have to wear hearing aids, I still suffer from tinnitis and hear the motors, the music from an unknown source and thunder that isn’t there!!! I can’t handle fabrics other than cotton. All tags must be removed. I recently cut a hole in not one, but two summer tops trying to remove the tags. Apparently, they didn’t bother me last summer. (Is this getting worse??) Odors are not pleasant. I frequently gag when driving by a Burger King or the like. Bright lights = more migraines…That leaves the sense of taste. Well, I still love all the crap I’m not supposed to be eating…go figure.

August 21, 2010 at 9:41 am
(42) Delene Jonker says:

For years and years I felt so tired with all the stiff muscles. But because I suffer from a mental illness as well I was told by medical people that it was all in my mind, because I am overweight, it was due to that. I cannot shower dry my hair and get clothed without resting in between. The loud music news is so welcome!! I cannot concentrate driving with the radio on, I go nuts!!!I cannot listen to the radio, I get headache. Loud music at a party or so, is most terrible.I love sitting in total silence at my pool and listen to the birds. When people start screaming and fighting I run to my room and shut my ears. I am irritated most of the time within crowds. Thanks!!

August 21, 2010 at 9:45 am
(43) Lori says:

I have sensitivity to everything. Some days are worse than others. It is hardest at night when I am trying to sleep. I find that I must have on long sleeves and long pants plus socks on my feet so that my body will stop trying to feel everything. It helps my mood at least to know that I am not alone. God bless you all.

August 21, 2010 at 10:04 am
(44) Ellen says:

I was so relieved to read this and the comments that followed. I will print out the article and share it with my husband. He has a very hard time understanding why I can’t listen to the radio first thing in the morning or last thing at night and why the tv is ALWAYS too loud for me. I turn down the volume on the phone and can’t use those automatic hand dryers because they are so loud. On the other hand, because I am so sensitive to sound (after 30+ years in radio) I can now appreciate the quiet things most others miss!

August 21, 2010 at 11:43 am
(45) Christen says:

Rani, you made me laugh really hard this morning! Thank you. But hopefully there are no padded rooms in our future! :)

August 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm
(46) JIll says:

Like you mentioned – this can be as bad if not worse then the pain we get. Plus, for me it stops any of my meds or pain relief techniques from working!

This morning I woke-up in my usual terrible pain, took my meds and start to do my relaxation techniques. It’s Sat at 6:15am and a neighboor is working on a house. Pounding, grinding, etc.! It’s Sat for Christ-sake! I need to see if there is a noise ordinance for this area.

August 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm
(47) Joan says:

Rani, I loved your posting, too… I also forgot that when I am in the bathroom or kitchen running water, I can hear the phone ringing (not really but it sure sounds like it is) and also when I am doing dishes in the kitchen it sounds just like someone was opening and closing the front door. I always go and look and nope no one there.. Maybe the padded cells are close, LOL

August 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm
(48) Jill says:

To add to my previous email – this morning while the work people in the neighborhood were making so much noise I used my dog to distract me. I held him, he licking my face, I focused as much as I could on “just” him. It worked! I have always trained dogs for a hobby so I have trained him as a therapy dog. I used to take him for hospital visits but for a time when my life was too stressful I stopped taking him and used him 100% for my therapy!

August 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm
(49) shelley says:

i hear things that most people don;t .. i also smell things that others don’t – i am hypersensitive to sounds,smells, bright lights – everything!! . When multiple people are talking at the same time, i literally cannot hear anything except noise .. it is worse when people are speaking in different languages … it actually makes me dizzy … i think i will start carrying theanine with me . what a great idea – i take it on bad days but never thought of having it on hand in case of a noise emergency

August 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm
(50) Janet C says:

WOW!! I have CFS but it’s been much better & thought I was over the worst of it. Been noticing that sounds are starrting to get me INCREDIBLY irritated. The leaf blower outside makes me angry!
Have always been sensitive to ice cube & carrot chewing for instance. But worse latelty and yes, I also “hear” things. My cell phone plays a song for the ringer & I will swear I hear it & check my phone & no one has called!
My kids have moved out of the house recently, so I thought it was because I was getting used to the quiet or had just built up a high tolerance for so long & now I am letting my guard down so noises have started bothering me more.
I just thought that today so this article comes at a perfect time!! Thank you!

August 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm
(51) Janet C says:

Oh yes – when there are other noises going on – particularly radio or TV or another conversation, I cannot “hear” a person talking to me!

August 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm
(52) Misty says:

My husband plays in a band, which I love to go out and hear, however the loud noise and crowded environment set my nerves on end. After a couple of hours, I am so anxious and irritable I can barely stand myself. After a very unpleasant evening out where nothing could ease my mood or the muscle pain, I now choose to stay home. Any suggestions?

August 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm
(53) elana says:

There is a book by Elaine Aron entitled highly sensitive person. that’s me and always has been. i developed severe insomnia when my parents lost their home (i was 12) and suddenly we were in an excruciatingly loud apt. environs. and nearly everywhere i’ve lived since has caused me big problems. when outside, i am the only person who has to stuff my index fingers in my ears when a motorcycle or ambulance pass. most places including home are misery and the only break is sleep

August 21, 2010 at 9:40 pm
(54) Angela M. says:

Oh, how I wish I could do as Jodith did…and take the offending item away from the person who is offending me! I’ve had more than coworker who’d incessantly crack gum (even after I’d kindly request that they not do it, because it was so loud that I couldn’t concentrate on my work). Yet, they’d continue to do it…ALL DAY LONG!!! While it wouldn’t cause me what I’d cause physical pain, I know it would cause my jaws to clench and the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. It’s possible that by the end of some work days, I may have had headaches because of my intense dislike of this sound.

Like some of the others, I’ll often avoid places where I’ll hear offensive sounds (such as gum cracking or fryer alarms in restaurants). Of course, I can’t really avoid the “thump-thump-thump” of car stereos in my neighborhood. Those make me want to curl up in a ball or run screaming, all the while holding my head and crying.

Silicone ear plugs have become good friends to me. I carry them with me everywhere I go. One problem, though, is that some people assume that everyone in this world can hear. I’ve often thought I should have a T-shirt made up that announces “FMS sufferer wearing ear plugs: Don’t assume that I can hear you!” I’ve had people become quite annoyed in public when I’ve had the ear plugs in and they’ve said “excuse me” while trying to get around me, but I haven’t heard them. Of course, then I get really nasty looks. From that point, I become more frustrated…because I want to scream at THEM for assuming too much. What a vicious cycle. Oh, how I hate FMS!!!

August 23, 2010 at 2:16 am
(55) Linda Traylor says:

When I was teaching (before I retired), our school district used to begin every school year with a large general meeting in the school district coliseum. That meeting meant several hundred adults in a large echoing room. I always felt later as if I had been physically beaten! I actually looked to see whether I had bruises on my arms and shoulders. It was several years before I understood that those sound waves were beating me up! Years later, I learned that fibromyalgia meant that I was super sensitized to many such things. And for me, noise was the greatest problem. Now, that I sleep well and have a good pain medication, these things do not bother me nearly as much. In fact, this weekend, I attended a reunion held in a large ballroom filled with about one hundred people dancing to very loud music. Although I was tired the day after (I had been there for four hours and had delivered a tribute to the guest of honor), I didn’t hurt. My arms and shoulders did not feel bruised all over I know how much pain noise can cause and I feel for those unable to find relief.

August 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm
(56) Jen says:

Thank you! Thank you! I am reduced to tears reading this article because I have two noisy little boys who make me feel like I’m going crazy and my husband doesn’t understand at all. He gets mad at me for shushing them. It is a horrible thing to essentially be punished for being ill and it is really hurting our already strained relationship. I will make him read this so he will know I’m not crazy and that what I’m feeling is REAL. I thank you so much for showing me this is real.

August 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm
(57) jackie says:

Wow—I am so happy to have found this site–I thought that I was nuts (maybe I am) but I too am sooooo sensitive to sound and bright lights also, but little sounds that should not bother me now drive me nuts and really do cause pain—I just seem to be so sensitive to everything and therefore tend to choose a very quiet lifestyle–not really what I want, but that’s how it is–since I only get one life, I try to adjust and am trying to convince myself that I really do love quiet–peace and quiet to all of us

August 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm
(58) Linda says:

#11..first time I ever heard anyone else call it a body migraine. That is the best description I have ever found.. I always tell my docs that when I am having a major flare up.
I too can’t tolerate noises. When I first developed CFS I got wireless headphones for my family to use while watching TV and listening to music. I hate large crowds of people…not just the noise but the constant over-stimulation. So great thave company in my misery

August 27, 2010 at 3:03 am
(59) Jules says:

Hyper sensitivity to some kinds of repetitive sound was one of my intense initial problem symptoms. Sometimes I felt like I was going to go into some kind of a seizure from the echoing feel of some sounds that repeat. Noisy busy places were no good at all for me. Busy shopping malls were stressful because of the overload of sound and vision and activity and brought on some anxiety from that. I read that some of the hypersensitivity can also be caused by a deficit of neurotransmitters and that tyrosine might be helpful for that. I think tyrosine helped me with a few different cognitive symptoms as well. It wasn’t THE one and only answer, just one of many things that helped me along the way.I really sympathise with anyone with this awful symptom. I’m much better with busy places now, but still have trouble with some sounds, mostly if I’m trying to concentrate. It gets inside my head too much.

August 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm
(60) Mary says:

Noise and a lot of activity drains me so horribly. I get through the event and then I am wired but tired and then I am a wreck for two days when I have to rest and somehow get away from noise and people. Solitude heals me but it is not always a possiblity. I had no idea that all of us are sensitive to just about everything. The sensory overload thing is so real. So glad to hear it is not just me.
Thank God there is a reason for my CFS issues.

August 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm
(61) marcy says:

Thank you so much. After all these years I am finally researching this. I read many of the comments but not all. I didn’t see this symptom however. I am super sensitive to people’s voices. This is to the point I can’t be in the same room with high shrill women’s voices, especially if they laugh loudly and harshly – instant headaches and pain. This causes bad feelings because they think I do not like them but it’s their voices I cannot take. Another is smell. I can smell chemicals coming from my own skin depending on what I consumed from food, wine or a cigarette. This is super sensitivity gone a muck!

September 1, 2010 at 9:51 pm
(62) Meredith says:

When I initially became ill my first realization that I had a sensitivity to noise was that I could no longer listen to the radio when driving. As time passed, I found other things that were bothersome as well. However, during times when I’m feeling better, I can listen to the radio. One day as I was driving I decided to turn it on. Immediately my lower left arm started hurting. Understanding that sometime the noise resulted in physical pain, I turned off the radio. Then I thought what a strange place for the pain, and it must have been a coincidence. I turned on the radio again and the pain in my left arm reappeared. Recognizing that the radio noise was clearly the source, I just turned off the radio again. To this day, that is one of the most bizarre episodes of my CFS/FM.

September 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(63) Linda G says:

I hate noise. I think the worst is when my husband watches sports, the background noise drives me crazy.
I don’t deal well with noise in general, and I’m obsessed with finding out where it is coming from. Unfortunately I have very keen hearing so I can hear a watch ticking when it is quiet at night. I avoid noisy, busy situations usually, but I didn’t realize that this was a symptom of Fibromyalgia, so that explains why I react the way I do. If I am in a busy crowded area I will tense up and be in more pain. Interesting, I guess I thought I must be imagining these things. Thanks.

September 11, 2010 at 12:34 pm
(64) Peg says:

I worked at a big office with no separation between the workers. There was constant conversation and phones ringing. It drove me nuts! The office was changed and we all got cubbies. Much better for me!

September 12, 2010 at 2:37 am
(65) Elaine says:

So interesting to hear this is ‘just’ another symptom to Fibromyalgia I to get anxious when there are to many noises around me. I am getting frustrated though with hearing oh it is only just part of the fibro.

September 13, 2010 at 2:33 am
(66) Cynthia says:

We had to move because of the noise my neighbors were making. There was one house on our street with lots of teenagers and young adults listening to thumping music day and night. It took a while but finally my husband understood that it was torture for me. We moved into a very quiet unit in a nice condo complex. That move may have saved my life or at least my sanity. I wanted to just run away alone to get away from the noise. It was horrible. Other noises bothered me too and some still do but I still cringe when I’m in traffic and a car with that super loud stereo pulls up next to me. Medication has helped with some of the common everyday noises but I go out in the car when they are mowing the grass here.

September 15, 2010 at 10:41 pm
(67) Bonnie in BC says:

O M G, ditto to above comments
Traffic, concrete places, box stores, screaming kids, bars, restaurants, conflict, phones/tv/ Just a quite time at the lake, or beneath a shade tree, the sun in the evening or rising early morn, gardens, soft warm sunshine, cool breeze & fresh air, puppies/kittens, bubble baths, and if all else fails
my Fibromyalgia is TAMED, with an Acetaminophen 650mg
x3, “time released” (relief) and a f e w beer or wine at the end of the day. RELAX . . . it’s only life and we can get thru this! Keep fighting the F.M.

October 24, 2010 at 8:56 pm
(68) Sylvia says:

So glad to read all of these comments and find out I’m not the only one! I recently made the connection between my chronic physical pain and sound sensitivity. What a surprise to find out that if I put in earplugs, my muscles actually start to relax and I feel NO PAIN in my body–I was able to go shopping and not get freaked out and have to take a 3 hour nap afterward. Great discovery that I plan to keep experimenting with, but also a little distressing to realize how much of my life I changed to accommodate avoiding sound: only shopping when other people aren’t there, insisting on working from home, avoiding dinners and social events (including ones that would have been good for me professionally), not being able to enjoy music as I would like to. Seeing how many other people have these issues (not just FM/CFS, it’s all over being called different things on the internet) makes me wonder whether instead of there being something “wrong” with all of us, maybe the world’s just gotten too noisy/over-stimulating and we’re like canaries in the coal mine manifesting symptoms to point to the problem. I don’t really have any issues when I’m out in nature strolling along without any man-made noises. I just don’t have time to go on as many nature retreats as I would need to recover from all the time spent working.

November 5, 2010 at 1:08 pm
(69) Karen says:

I suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and have noise sensitivity, along with other symptoms. I cannot stand it if someone is tapping their fingers on anything. A regular or irregular noise has the same effect. If two people speak at once I hear neither, even in a small gathering I cannot follow the conversation unless I stand apart and speak to one person. It takes a great deal of concentration and a more severe develops . In a crowded room I feel sick and dizzy. My sons ipods drive me nuts with their constant hissing. I am hardly ever without a headache, its just the severity that varies. But if something is dropped or there is an unsuspected noise I am made more aware of the headache. I carry earplugs with me where ever I go and also pain relief.

November 30, 2010 at 2:15 pm
(70) red says:

Does sniffling, coughing, and other annoying noises count? I have CFS and I think I have FM also. For years and I mean YEARS, sniffling has bothered me to the point that I cry or I get real angry. When I sat in a class for three weeks, I had to wear earplugs just to listen to the instructor and filter out the noise.

June 9, 2011 at 2:02 am
(71) Des says:

Last night while in bed my husband was coughing all the time. Every time he coughed I wanted to SHOUT at him to stop. I could not understand why i felt like that. The boys came from church and they sang hymns, I put my head under the blankets and closed my ears. I felt so bad about it. After that I could not sleep at all. Even the sound coming from the keypad of my huband’s phone while he was playing a game drove me up the wall. But how do I explain this to my boys?

November 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm
(72) Rhonda says:

I first noticed my sensitivity to sounds riding in my husband’s truck and their was certain pitches in the music that I just could not tolerate at all. The vibrations also drive me crazy….but the most wierd one of all is sensitivity to smells. Am I the only one that has this problem? I can smell something and it seems so overwhelming that I think it takes my breath away. I actually have to get up and go outside to get a fresh breath of air…..Does anyone else have this problem?

I like reading your responses to the topics because it makes me feel much more better knowing that I am not alone…..

November 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm
(73) Maggie says:

It is really strange how different things affect different people with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. I worked as a dispatcher for the state police where there were 2 radio channels talking constantly, phones ringing non-stop and people coming and going all the time. All this noise never bothered my fibro UNTIL I moved from a warm climate to a much colder one. Now all I want is peace and quiet. I truly believe that cold weather and altitude have a lot to do with how this disease affects us.

November 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(74) vivian says:

My husband even after 24 years with CFS/FBM doesn’t understand why I can’t work in our auto body shop. Besides the noise the smell of the dust and pain will put me in bed for days. I also get flares when he and my son get into it about business. When I say I don’t want to hear it I’m accused of taking sides. Otherwise he is really understanding. Haven’t found the solution yet but working on it

November 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm
(75) Tracie says:

Wow, what a thought. I’ve had noise sensitivity for YEARS. Always thought it was related to my migraines (as it has been a trigger before).

I was only diagnosed last year, so this is incredibly eye-opening. So much to discover about this illness.

November 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm
(76) Patricia Dean says:

I can so relate to the noise, omg kills me at times, but not only noise affect me like that, but flashing lights do as well, like when there is a message on my phone, and the light is flashing, omg drives me mad at times. When I am in a crowd of ppl at a mall, not only do I get over censored, but I start hearing things like they are in a tube, so strange, but if I don’t get away fast enough, I actually pass out from it :-( Makes it so hard to Christmas shop!!!

November 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm
(77) Jenny says:

I shake like a chihuahua. I get sharp shooter nerve pains throughout too at times, a knot in my guts, and a tension headache. jaw tightens. my head will actually bob, like Katharine Hepburn, the actress.

June 9, 2011 at 2:06 am
(78) Des says:

I get the shakes too. A headache and the right side of my face pulls stiff while my head bobs :) . I can laught about it now, but i find it VERY disturbing when it happens.

November 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm
(79) Glenys says:

I have had sensitivity to sounds and bright (or flashing) lights forever. My family has always thought I was wierd because I don’t listen to the radio. I have been blessed with a husband who also does not care to have radio on in the car; I don’t think he has FM but he does share some of the symptoms with me!

Also I think the people today who have to have their music so load that even though they are using ear phones, the rest of us can still hear their music, have alreadty ruined their hearing and their lives becasue of the noise.

November 30, 2010 at 2:50 pm
(80) Dana says:

I have to agree to some extent.. A small group doesn’t affect me. However I was at a meeting this morning w/ about 25 people & couldn’t wait for it to be over.. Before the meeting started I felt a headache brewing.. By the time I got home, the area around my shoulders, upper back hurt, I felt cold & very tired, My head was pounding, noise, light & smells were making it worse! I was counting down till my 2 toddlers were going in for their naps, b/c I just couldn’t think straight!

November 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm
(81) Cheryl says:

Wow, I never really thought about it, and it makes sense. But for me, it’s not only repititious sounds but movements as well. My late husband and now my son can’t seem to sit still. He sits and jiggles his leg up and down. I can handle it for about 5 seconds before he gets “the dreaded finger nails!” And some commercials bother me more than others, usually the ones that are loud and repetitive. Thanks for the information!!

November 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm
(82) Mary says:

@ Donna #13, I also have the feeling like my skin hurts, when the noises start bothering me, it feels like my blood heats up and courses through my veins and I begin to hurt all over! Like alot of you, I find that it’s easier just to avoid places and people that are loud, I tend to like being alone where I can control my enviroment.

November 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm
(83) Cheryl Robinson-Atwood says:

I worked in a busy hospital nursing unit for years, and was able to selectively filter through the many beeps, bells, buzzers, and alarms. Even past the incessant hum of voices, phones, and such, I could pick out what needed to be dealt with, and ignore the extraneous noises. Now that fibro has me retired, I often can’t tolerate even a single, low radio. Even the most innocuous background noise can cause body-wide pain.

November 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm
(84) Diana S says:

I’ve noticed noise sensitivity (and light sensitivity) for many, many years now. I also notice that some days are less sensitive and on other days, there is more sentsitivity. On the less days, I try to keep myself as relaxed as possible and enjoy as much as I can, like a trip throught the mall, which I love. I pick days that sren’t too terribly crowded. If so, I rest along the way more frequently. Thank goodness for the seating areas. Sudden loud noises are most irritating & bothersome, so I like to go during the weekdays when the kids & teens are in school.

November 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm
(85) Diana S says:

I’ve noticed noise sensitivity (and light sensitivity) for many, many years now. I also notice that some days are less sensitive and on other days, there is more sensitivity. On the less days, I try to keep myself as relaxed as possible and enjoy as much as I can, like a trip through the mall, which I love. I pick days that aren’t too terribly crowded. If so, I rest along the way more frequently. Thank goodness for the seating areas. Sudden loud noises are most irritating & bothersome, so I like to go during the weekdays when the kids & teens are in school.

November 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm
(86) Bessie Harruff says:

wow after reading the article and some of these comments I have a clear understanding why I suddenly feel like I am going to pass out and get sick to my stomach when I am in a very lg croward. and why its hard for me to focus when there is a lot of noise around. in fact when I talked on the phone and the T.V is on I leave the room and go into another room so I can focus on the person I am talking to

November 30, 2010 at 5:54 pm
(87) Tara says:

I can totally relate. The part of the article talking about the noise. My family thinks I’m bananas because I’m constantly going “shhh” to the child, to the dogs, to my girlfriend who always speaks in outdoor voices. People shouting/arguing sends me into outer space almost instantaneously. Sometimes I find it more comforting to just pray/ meditate quietly or silently in my car as opposed to having the radio on. Too much stimuli puts my body into lockdown, and it won’t let up until it’s darn good and ready. Thank you for this article. I’m going to share it with my “shush-ees” so they know I’m not just being a total jerk. Well, at least about this. Thank you thank you!

December 1, 2010 at 3:00 am
(88) Elaine says:

Wow! How true of ME ! I can’t stand crowds and being closed in with noise. If the company in house gets to many and kids get to loud, I can’t handle it ! I go to my domain. Bedroom, and stay !
Very good article!

December 1, 2010 at 6:02 am
(89) LeonieGH says:

Its odd, for me CHAOTIC background noise is the enemy & the way I avoid the stress of it when I go out is to listen to an mp3 full of my favourite music. It can be loud (blocks outside noises), so long as I enjoy singing along in my head. The words to those songs work almost like chanting a mantra.
I find the worst situation to deal with is being in a confined space somewhere like a party or in a densely packed large crowd. The sound hits you with a physical force that makes me feel faint & ill.

December 1, 2010 at 5:35 pm
(90) Emma says:

Count me in. I’d always known I had more sensitive hearing (and eyesight, that’s another story) than most as I can, for example, hear the electrical, often high pitched, buzz of most appliances.
The problem I have is differentiating one sound from another. When I was of better health and would attend a gathering I took to writing “I can’t hear you” on my hand, so sick was I of asking people to repeat themselves. I found it impossible to listen to a person speaking without also hearing the lyrics of the song in the background and the conversation across the table, making understanding extremely difficult. I use to just nod and smile, hoping I hadn’t just agreed to something I’d later regret.

Now, my illness has progressed and I rarely leave my house, however, living near a primary school is causing me severe migraines. The girls next door love to play a game I can only assume is called: ‘Who can scream the loudest”.
I also cannot wear any clothes that are tight fitting or hang/gather/tie around my stomach. Anything at all around my stomach makes me feel nauseated to the point of vomiting.
Getting comfortable in bed is also problematic and I find it impossible to switch off, being kept awake by sound, mainly the buzz of appliances (which I now switch off at the socket in order to get some peace).

It’s such a strange sort of relief I feel upon finding this article, thank you for writing it, thereby opening up the lines of communication for us all.

December 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm
(91) irene says:

I fit in to all above and have decided that for me i had to use my love of music and dance to help me through the real bad times. When i am ultra sensitive i put my earphones on and play relaxing music and in my mind i dance to it, I close my eyes and just take myself away from it all. Meditation is my one savior

December 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm
(92) Loretta Marie says:

I have these similar problems as you all do… I can hear the electrical lines going into the light and it hurts my ears. I can not stop this where can I finally get some peace and quiet. they told me to get noise reduction head sets. I can not live like this I am a people person and I have my job to do.

I get tired easily and I have stomach aches and feel so sick in my tummy alot so that offen food gets me rather sick too.

My dr. says there is no cure and that I have to live with this. why should i live with it, when there are others like me out there, should there be a place for us to go to?

anyone from West Florida know of anyplace to help us at?

December 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm
(93) Cameron says:

Barking dogs exacerbate my fibro symptons. My neighbor has a dog who does not like to be left alone at night and she will sit out in their yard and bark non stop until they get home. One time, I left a note on their gate telling them of this problem and that I have a medical issue that is aggravated by their dog’s continous barking. They took no measures to stop the barking…. It is making my so sick. Guess I’ll have to find a lawyer to make it stop. Noise cuts right through me, raises my blood pressure and the muscles in my upper back, neck and head tighten making my head feel like it is going to explode! I feel so helpless living next to a neighbor who’s not home to hear his own dog bark nor does he care….

December 5, 2010 at 5:40 pm
(94) Kathleen Lundman says:

My comment was incomplete about noise problems due to CFS and FM. I was about to say that I have changed my shopping schedules so that I won’t have to listen to a screaming child and I also carry earplugs with me for some of the other distractions that keep coming up that really interfere with my life and happiness. They buffer the sounds so that they are almost tolerable. I thought I was losing my mind when this started happening, so when I first read about this being a symptom of CFS or FM, I was thilled! My family doesn’t understand how I can be so sensitive to this, so I just try to avoid the issue with them. I wish there was a better way to fix this problem, but for now I will continue to either remove myself from the situation or use my ear plugs. Thanks for asking.

January 1, 2011 at 10:53 pm
(95) becky says:

i do not have this happen every night, but when it does happen it only starts in later evening. noises like the t.v doesnt bother me, but the tapping of fingers or a door closing light switch being turned on, basically the small things, feels like it is inside my head. it makes me feel like there is a small earthquake going on in the front of my head, i do not get headaches with these, although i have been fighting some illness that docs cant figure out for 3 yrs now, i do in fact have headaches most days of the week and dizzy spells everyday, (among many other issues that is effecting my health). i do have a partially blocked subclavian artery that i thought might be causing the problem. anyone else think maybe that might be atleast this part of it? the docs tell me to stay off of the net, and stop trying to diagnose myself, but when they cant wont or are unable to what do they expect, i am naturally going to start trying to find answers myself, 3 yrs is long enough, and for the first 1 1/2 they tried to say it is depression and anxiety but now they know it isnt. so if anyone can help me in this area of my illness please please please help…..

January 12, 2011 at 11:22 am
(96) jackie says:

I’m so glad to have stumbled upon all this info, and relieved.

My husband has been a long term snorer which only exacerbates the problem I have with noise at night.

I can hear the fridge in the garage rooms away, the clock on the oven, the smaller fridge coming on and off, the circuit breaker in the loft humming away, the hum from the plug on the alarm radio, and when the heating comes on at 6.30 (I wake about a minute before it comes on) the humming from that and the water gurgling then the floorboards reverberating……then hub getting ready in the en-suite and really REALLY I SHOULD get up and welcome the new day and go for a fantastic walk on the hills with the dog and come come home refreshed and tire myself out for a great sleep …… which I know will not come :(

Every night is like Groundhog night. Every morning starts how I know it will start. I am so SO SO SO tired all the time.

When I do achieve some sort of quietness within me all I can hear is the tinnitus.

I have often wished I was deaf, with apologies for sounding so dramatic and pathetic and not to make light of deafness.

January 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm
(97) Teri says:

I am so glad to see this article. Like many of you noise almost drives me crazy (literally). There were times with barking dogs or loud music next door that I seriously contemplated taking an ax and bashing down a door, taking a knife and slashing the trampoline where the children bounced and screamed. And like many of you, my husband could not understand and would not help me with these people. I suffer from headaches and noise can make the pain unbearable.
I notice that many of you say you use ear plugs. I tried that but I can hear my heart beating loudly, which only added to the irritation.
I also hear ‘ghost noise and smells” as I call them. I didn’t however connect them to fibro.

January 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm
(98) Ann says:

thank god there are others w/this i thought i was a rare bird

carrying foam earplugs helps…also take something for anxiety an hour b4 entering the situation if you can
wear polarized sunglasses inside bldg

January 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm
(99) Angel Callaway says:

Last night I watched American Idol with my husband and son. My son is very loud and obnoxious all the time but last night it really go to me. I couldn’t get him to shut up enough to please me. My ears felt like the were ringing, irritated. All I wanted was peace and quiet. Today, two of my grandbabies came over and between the crying and the dogs barking, my hands are shaking and my ears feel very irritated, I feel like I can’t stand to have any loud noises around me. I am irritated when I have alot going on around me. I can’t think, can’t focus.

January 31, 2011 at 5:03 pm
(100) Jennifer says:

I find that white noise, ambient noise and traffic sounds make me feel uneasy and weak, sometimes paralyzed and have passed out from siren, motorcycle and truck sounds while riding in a car. Sometimes I have convulsions ( typical of a seizure) just from hearing white noise or a motorcycle but always there is loss of consciousness involved. Anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes. After I pass out I fall into a deep sleep. Anyone have problems like this?

March 28, 2011 at 12:13 pm
(101) TRACY says:

I read this article and all the comments and found relief in that I’m not alone.
Now, how do I get my place of employment to help accomodate me? I like my job and like working (most days) but I’m in a high traffic area and they are going to be doing some contruction here soon. Is there anything, anywhere that I can research and show them?

July 22, 2011 at 2:47 pm
(102) Somerleigh says:

For me it is strange; buzzing noises are especially bad or when multiple people talk at once. I have heard this referred to as “white noise deafness” before- the inability to separate sounds.

At the same time, if I go to a nightclub and hear pounding basslines all night long, they will never bother me. I think it has something to do with like… I dunno, volume, or something. the louder and more consuming a noise is, the easier it is for me to deal with, but if it is below a certain volume, and happens in a pattern, I have GOT to get away from it somehow.

July 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm
(103) mindy says:

For me thedre is a difference between noise and sound. Loud sounds don’t bother me. Its the clicks, pops, taps, ect that make me want to kill myself!! I sleep with ear plugs becaUse my fiance smacks his lips while sleeping. I’ve yelled at my kids for playing with toys noisily. I want to punch someone who sniffles constantly! I’ve gotten out of a car with a person chewing gum and walked home. I’ve started carrying around ear plugs for evry day use.

September 6, 2011 at 3:16 am
(104) kim says:

Thunder! My enemy is thunder and that’s just for starters. It’s not like you can get mother nature to shut up. Thunder brings me to tears with pain and anxiety. I don’t even have a firm diagnosis yet but I’m sure I have CFS. When it starts to thunder I have to take a Xanax just to cope. After the storm passes I’m left with the pain of a monday quarterback who got sacked every play he made. It sucks. See the rheumatologist in late November. Yay. A three month wait.

September 18, 2011 at 12:03 am
(105) dprivett says:

I am currently at my pain threshold pressure – i had a complete melt down this morning over bare feet on carpet by my 3 dogs and my adult son – it hurt my hands, arms, and feet and i couldn’t stand it any more. All of a sudden any friction sounds or visuals were causing more and more pain and so I ran, bawling, into the garage and into my truck and locked the doors and turned it on and blew the A/C at high (w/ the overhead door open for safety). I wasn’t going to drive anywhere – it hurts to touch the steering wheel on my palms. I just needed to get control back w/o stimuli. I spent the next 10 hours in my bedroom with the door shut and only a lamp on & one of those fuzzy soft blankets and didn’t move. Doc says I may have to increase the Lyrica to over the 450 a day I’m taking already. I had hoped these sensations would to away after having a quadruple discectomy. It did help alot. But with SLE and FMS I don’t even think chocolate will help. Thank you for posting. It makes me feel better knowing someone else understands.

September 23, 2011 at 4:17 am
(106) jane says:

It makes sense that we would get “abnormal” reactions to sounds if our nervous systems are not normal. I summed it up years ago by concluding that I cannot deal well with any stress or stressors – particularly something that triggers even a mild adrenaline rush. The adrenaline causes instant migraine, weakness, sick feeling…and that can wipe me out for the rest of the day or more. I also cannot use dental injections containing epinephrine (an adrenaline relative). I also live in an apartment with neighbors who come home at 12:30AM and I cannot sleep because I anticipate them coming and making noise. I have to use a fan or sound machine to distract me as well as ear plugs to try to counteract the effect of their return. I also have a noisy motor underneath the apartment that buzzes constantly and makes me want to take my long handle ax and chop thru the floor to destroy it. Noises that other people make, especially if I dont like them, are particularly intolerable. Sounds psychological doesn’t it? I guess if I wasn’t hypersensitive it wouldn’t such an issue. I hope this makes someone else feel better somehow. Maybe some college student could do their thesis on it.

November 21, 2011 at 11:03 pm
(107) Trippsmom says:

This is why the Lyrica commercials rub me SO wrong. FMS is SO, SO, SO, much more then just the “muscle pain” that the pretty girls in the commercials demonstrate. I may be a bit prejudice since I went legally blind (could not see the BIG “E” on the eye chart, nor drive, read, etc.) on it ~ to the extent I ended up with one of the few Neuro-Opthamologist (brain scan and all) to get a diagnoses. Found this site to try to find something to print out for my 13-yr-old Son about how noise HURTS. And it’s a hurt hard to describe ~ kind of like an electric shock to your entire system. Being both a retired (due to disability) Social-Psych Professor and Chef ~~~ How do you explain to someone it’s painful to go to a restaurant – a store??? They think you’re crazy… Have lost Husband, all 4 siblings, one of three children (and the two sons are faithful but think I’m nutso nonetheless) and best friend of 45 years – and all other friends. I’ve got no one. I realize it’s a hard disease to comprehend unless you have it ~ but WHY would I give up an accomplished, successful life to just sit here and “make this up?????” (along with 10 million other Americans) Very, very lonely most of the time ~ but this thing has yet to destroy my brain and my optimism. Thank GOD/the Universe ~ for that at least. Said recently on a forum that it is funny; It seems the most caring people are those that contract this disease. I know ~ not funny at all, ey?? I’m ten years into it. Only gets worse. The link below is to the best compilation of symptoms I’ve found ~ though it does not cover the vomiting and diarrhea I get…among others. You are welcome to find me on Facebook under Jean March Thompson Taylor. Welcome contact as I live in the Woods on top of a Mountain and the internet is pretty much my only socialization ;) http://altmedangel.com/fibromya.htm

November 24, 2011 at 5:38 pm
(108) chris says:

i can not stand the noise of dishes on a draining board or cups clinking together,i can not let anything pass that annoys me anymore i have to deal with it or it justs gives me so much grief.i thought it was just me so i keep this thread for me wife to read.

December 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm
(109) chris says:

Reading everyone’s comments has brought tears to my eyes. The hardest part has been the isolation this has caused. I used to be friendly and outgoing….and no one understanding…I don’t even understand it.

January 2, 2012 at 12:17 am
(110) Karen says:

I have been fighting noise, light and people bumping into me for years. The pain I can manage most of the time without drugs. However, when the migrains mix with the physical pain of fibermyalgia I think I’m going to go crazy with pain. My children do not understand why I want to stay at home. Or why when my daughter get’s off work and I’ve had my little grandaughter all day I just want to be where it’s quite by myself. The over load is to much when I have more than two people talking to me. I cannot have a radio or TV on if someone is talking or there is other noise around me. Compound that with light I end up in the hospital for days. My eyes blood vesle’s break, I get a bloody nose and my ear’s blead. I have mild to medium brain bleeds and I get brusing all over me. I just never made the conection of migrains, bleeds, bruicing, bloody noses…ect to fibermyalgia. I to find that no drug really helps. The best thing is just to hold steel after I rub asper cream on and pray for death. It normally takes three to four days for my body to settle down. Thank you everyone for this sight. I would never have realized that everything might be related.

January 12, 2012 at 8:54 am
(111) Shannon says:

I have had a severe issue with noise for as long as I can remember. Noise bothers me so much that I started to wear ear plugs 24/7 about 15 years ago. My hearing is so sensitive that I can hear people talking down the hall outside my apartment even with the ear plugs in. I can hear a person speaking to me in a normal voice if I have them in (like hearing a cashier talk to me). The ear plugs are industrial strength, the kind used in a factory or assembly line.

At it’s worst, this noise sensitivity bothers me enough to have to leave the area or make the noise stop. It’s like being suddenly startled and staying in that state. If someone touched me I’d feel like I was going to jump out of my own skin. It would be completely intolerable and I’d react very badly.

It is a relief to see that I’m not alone in this! I always thought it was some kind of weird quirk I had. Or that it was somehow psychological lol

January 14, 2012 at 9:41 pm
(112) Lee says:

This article is a God send. I have firbromyalgia affecting most of the joints in my body, most of the time, along with other classic symtems. It can be dibilitating at times. I have PTSD and anxiety, I kept trying to connect my sensory sensitivity to these conditions. I never thought of connecting sensory sensitivity to fybromyalgia. This article is exactly what happens to me. A response to a mild stimulus instead of fading, feeds back on it’self amplifying untill it is truely unbearable and I have to flee the source.

March 8, 2012 at 1:35 am
(113) Sally says:

Wow!! Not glad you all are experiencing the same problems I have, but it is good to know I am not the only one and am not crazy! It is so hard to understand the many changes with FM. How do you get it? Why do you get it?

all I know is: it is PAIN! My husband cannot understand how I can be so bothered by noise. He is hard of hearing, so it is doubly hard for him to understand. He talks loudly and I feel like my eardrums are vibrating inside my ears, it just makes me cringe it hurts so bad. I tense up and grit my teeth.

People don’t understand that their words are like throwing bricks at my head!

Some barking dogs, not all of them, but the high pitched ones just about drive me to the brink!!!!! The Westerns hubby is so fond of…..yikes! the shooting makes me want to do shooting of my own!

I bought a box of 100 earplugs from the auto supply store and am looking into the headphone type noise eliminators, I think they are Bose? Don’t know much about them yet, but am researching.

I do like the fan on at night to sleep. It seems to soothe me.

We have new neighbors. 7 kids, 3 dirt bikes, 1 4-wheeler and 3 huge dogs.

I am desperate to find a solution to deal with the noise! Would love to hear what measures you all use to survive!

March 24, 2012 at 11:56 pm
(114) Vicki says:

I was recently diagnosed but realize now that I’ve had fibro for years.

The sound of someone crumpling a napkin during a meeting would cause me severe pain and a very anxoius feeling. People really look at you like you’re nuts when you ask them to stop.

As far as people hearing voices when the house is quiet, they are not crazy. The wiring in your house can act as a transmiter for nearby radio stations. It produces a very soft signal most often heard when the house is quiet and you have very sensitive hearing.

March 30, 2012 at 11:59 am
(115) Weenie Princess says:

Oversensitivity to sound, smells and lights. Oh yeah, and touches. And tastes and textures. Um, yeah, pretty much every stimuli *sigh*. Severe nerve pain in my neck, shoulders and back with every loud, repetitive or sudden noise. Feel badly for wanting to punch people simply because their voice is not of the proper frequency – according to my nerves. (Rethinking my job choice – work in an office in the middle of a steel foundry – Bloody Brilliant!). Ear plugs have saved my sanity – I use them every day for various reasons. Forget the mall, concerts, parties. Lavender makes me very, very angry. The slightest bump from someone causes pain for an unnaturally long time. Was given the nickname of Weenie Princess – I quite like it now.

On the positive side, I am easily able to hear hummingbirds, bumblebees and frogs when others are not. I feel like my senses are tuned to the frequency suited for small quiet critters but I live in a chaotic dinosaur world.

April 15, 2012 at 2:03 am
(116) Helen says:

I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this problem. It’s driving me mad. How do you get neighbours to stop playing their head banging music so it can be heard a street away. A couple of nights ago I literally screamed. I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt I had been in a 10 round fight with the world heavyweight, I had a migraine, wanted to throw up, my blood pressure sky-rocketed, and I was hot. I’m still aching all over. It now feels like an entire baseball team has belted me from head to toe. It’s like a body migraine.

I hate going shopping because of the noise levels. It takes 2 days to get over the fortnightly shop – the last one took 3 hours to put away – and have almost stopped going out. Not good when you live by yourself. Family gatherings are a night mare.

April 24, 2012 at 2:16 am
(117) KS says:

The noise sensitivity many are experiencing may also be, in some cases, a rare condition called Misophonia (aka: Soft Sound Sensitivity Syndrome). I have this, along with FM, and CFS. Misophonia is an extreme aversion to certain sounds (chewing, swallowing, snoring, dishes clanking, thumping bass, loud breathing, sniffing, and many others). It envokes a fight or flight response, anger, disgust, and the need to get away. If you feel you have this, you are not alone. There is a private group on Facebook dedicated to supporting those with the condition and getting the word out. For more information, go here: http://www.tinnitus-audiology.com/softsound.html


May 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm
(118) Dee says:

Fiding this page is quite a comfort to me, at this moment I don’t feel so much alone. Instead of repeating what I have in common, I would like to ask if any of you experience some things not previously mentioned that I believe may be connected. I,ll just do a list format and would love any and all feedback.
-do not like highway driving….makes you feel very nervous
-feel very uneasy when a cop gets behind you
-indoor allergies
-frequent need to urinate when on road trips, in medical facilities, in crowded places “nervous bladder”
-notice that temperatues feel different to you than others…..such as if you pick up a stone does it feel like ice to you but room temp to others
-dont tolerate heat well
-itchy face
-sore…sometimes swollen eyes
-sweat from your head often
-cant stand be woke up by alarm clock or phone….causes headache/anger
-difficulty quieting your mind
-constant need for TV or music…blocking out other sounds
-no desire to” keep up with the Jones” on the newest technology
-have difficulty using touch phones and self checkouts…they never seem to work right for you
-have a” bad feeling” or nervousness on certain roads

I could go on a bit but, I’m interested to see if any of you can relate so far. Thanks for reading and in advance for any replies.

May 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm
(119) Ms. Jon Girl says:

I was at a dinner party last night and one of my relatives is a constant whistler, I can’t take it, it actually makes me panic, then as every one got angry with me and said just forget about it, someone else was tapping their fingernails on the table, I now realize noises that are repetitive drive me crazy and get me angry. My husband hears a song on the radio while driving and taps to the music on the steering wheel…It’s like nails on a chalkboard. Also the sounds of someone eating are annoying, boom boxes. What is it all about? what can I do about it?

July 6, 2012 at 8:56 am
(120) wendy says:

Has anyone got suggestions for coping?. All the posts are about the problem…..glad I’m not the only one…but what about help to aleviate it?. earplugs are useless and you can’t wear headphones to sleep. I have a white noise machine which helps a bit but I hear high frequency noise all the time. It has made me very depressed. Good luck everyone. Got a good Noise sensitivity CD by Rachael Eccles..very relaxing but it doesn’t stop the persistant eeeeeeeeee I hear.

August 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm
(121) Pam says:

I hate being this way. I want to enjoy my family, but most of the time I’m shutting myself out. something a little as two tv’s on at a time in the house, doors opening and closing, more than one conversation going on with the tv on, all drive me into information overdrive!!! I come back in my room just to be alone. If the pain wasn’t enough, now I can’t even be social with family!! So sad :(

August 16, 2012 at 12:14 am
(122) Megan says:

I am only 20 but have had signs of fibromyalgia since I was quite young but wasn’t diagnosed til a few years ago. It’s been more recently within the last two years that I’ve noticed I’m much more sensitive to sound than I ever was.
I used to be able to stand other family members listening to loud music or their tv’s being loud but now I can barely stand it and it makes me feel worse.
I didn’t know until now that this could go along with fibromyalgia – which I’m glad to know because I hated that it irritates me so much when a noise begins grating on me and I thought maybe just from the fatigue of the disease that it was making my mood worse and it was me not being able to handle it.
Like said by many others – dogs left outside barking gets at me, a neighbour who spends almost all day lawn mowing (although who wouldn’t that annoy lol).
And sometimes even I can’t listen to my iPod even when it’s a song I usually love because I don’t feel that good and it makes it worse.

I’m glad to know now that this is a sort of a sign of the disease and not just me making it up in my head.

September 10, 2012 at 10:33 pm
(123) Linda says:

I’ve had fibromyalgia for 20+yrs but it’s just been in the past couple years that noises bother me. Unfortunately, I have 5 dogs. The loud yappy kind, lol. (I don’t leave them outside to bother the neighbors) My husband is oblivious to their barking and just ignores them. I try to tell him that the noise causes me physical pain (didn’t know why until now). I get really irritable with other loud noises (TV, music). Not sure if that’s the fibromyalgia or not. I cringe when the phone rings and if it’s early morning will cause me to shake and feel panicky. I thought most of this was just a quirk of my personality but from what I’ve read, maybe there is a reason.
Thanks for the article and all the comments. At least I know I’m not nuts.
I can play soothing music kinda loud though and it relaxes me???

September 13, 2012 at 4:38 pm
(124) Abiola M Lawal says:

I decided to check sensitivity to noise and opened this.

I don’t know for how long I have been sensitive but my experience is such that when I am in a noisy environment, I become uncomfortable and if I stay too long, I develop a headache and become tense. Unfortunately though most people around me don’t understand the effect it has on me. I tend to carry ear plugs around and when I forget to, I ball small bits of tissue and plug my ears.

October 6, 2012 at 4:15 am
(125) lou54 says:

I have finally been diagnosed with Fibro after over 10 years of unexplained pain and other symptoms associated. Noise is one of them that nearly drove me insane, as I was living in a townhouse that had paper thin walls. I heard every single activity from neighbours on both sides of my house, it was hell. The washing machines would come on at night, to save electricity, the shouting, toilets, conflicting tv channels. I never got nights sleep, and used to actually enjoy being awake at 5am just to have some peace and quiet before it all started again. Im now living in a detached house and its bliss, but I still cant bear loud tvs, or other peoples noise. I have to have total silence before I can get any sleep. No one can understand this unless they have it themselves.

October 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm
(126) Susan says:

I have been having a weird feeling in my head and sounds never bothered me however this past month I feel like I an going crazy. Loud sounds have made me snap at my family and I’m in a bad mood most of the time. I have also been having dizzy bouts when rising from bed and tonight vomited. The only health problem I have is Hashimotos disease. I feel sick and tired all the time. What could it be?

November 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm
(127) Dorothy says:

Wow, so it’s not just ‘lil me who hears things to a higher degree. One has to feel for all the people out there who have a sensitivity to noise.
I’ve noticed as of late that when I even speak it echoes inside me. The motor from the fridge, water running…wow…I’m relieved I’m not going crazy.

We live in a very quiet home. Does anyone believe a recent event can trigger such a thing? There is Tinnitis in my list of medical problems, Rhuematoid arthritis and Lupus. Does anyone believe they could be playing a big role in this sensitivity?

My dog has to be one of the best….picks up on the way I feel and is a very quiet little dog. Do take care all.

December 1, 2012 at 6:58 am
(128) amir says:

i have a same kind of problem i dont know if its the same as you described but it would be a great help if you can judge it . i am normal all the time friendly funny and jumpy all but some times when things around me really start getting loud and lot of buzzing talking goes my mind just goes blank i feel suddenly sad and like all the joy drained and i am unable to concentrate or think properly. is it symptom of the same ? thank you. please mail me about this.

January 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm
(129) Jodi says:

I have been diagnosed with FM for 2 years now and I a,ways wondered why noise bothered me. Since my daughter moved in with her two boys I didn’t rally notice it to much but they are not quite children. I find myself in my bedroom more than ever just to get some peace an quite. I tried to explain that I need peace and quite and daughter says it is overrated. I truly hope she finds a job soon and gets out. Thanks for this information it help a great deal.

January 28, 2013 at 6:07 pm
(130) Joanne says:

I am so glad to meet you all. I have had FM for decades. I was a music minor in college, and now I can’t even listen to my favorite Classical music, or play an instrument. Going to stores with Muzak drives me crazy, as do people speaking at the same time (I can’t differentiate) or speaking in loud voices. Angry voices make me want to flee the situation entirely, turn the car around, run into the house, anything to make it STOP.
I have had to use white noise to help me sleep ever since I was a teen (I am 61 now); back then one of those old desktop air cleaners was enough. Now I have a very good white noise generator with adjustable sounds, frequencies and levels, but I STILL have to wear earplugs–kind of a double barrier to the noise of the dogs next door, the cars revving up in the morning, the sound of the furnace, etc. I no longer can sleep with my husband, who snores terribly and won’t go to the doctor to find out what’s wrong; I feel so bad about that, but there’s nothing else I can do if I want to live. I have also used a prescription sleeping pill and antidepressant for many years, for which I am monitored carefully by my doctor. I have found I need lots more sleep than most folks–without it, I do not function well during the day. With enough sleep (9 to 11 hours !) I feel almost human. In pain, but human.
This weekend I went to a big doll show/sale, which I love to do. But now I am having to be quiet and stress-free for a few days to compensate.
I, too, hear music and voices when there is electronic “chatter” going on in the house. I prefer to think that somehow my mind is “tuning in” to another frequency or another plane of existence somewhere. Sounds weird, but I have no other explanation. When the electronic chatter stops, so do the voices and music.
Oh, by the way, I was trained as a scientist. Fibromyalgia is the strangest disease ever, isn’t it? Remember, try to approach life with as much humor as you can. It alleviates much of the stress.

February 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm
(131) Claire says:

OMG. I have been living in hell! I have had some of these symptoms for years. Of course I have always looked at each one separately. Two years ago my roommate’s mother suggested that I might have fibromyalgia. I have closely monitored various aches and pains. Unfortunately my roommate, God love her, talks from the time she wakes up until she goes to bed she talks constantly. I try to watch TV or go on-line, but can’t concentrate on anything. She complains that I am “jumpy” all the time and I drive her crazy. Now I know! All the aches and pains trying to sleep and when I get up. Pain in my muscles and bones. Sensitive to noises. OMG!

March 12, 2013 at 5:31 pm
(132) Anne says:

I was at a conference last weekend with our church in beautiful surroundings in the trossach national park. Lovely hotel too. However, the noise of the children having fun, the musician strumming his guitar and the chatter were all exploding in my head. Pain was everywhere in my body and I felt the need to escape and be in a dark quiet place. I have suffered this before and have had migraine since the age of five. This was not migraine symptoms and I did not have a headache. The description in the article about sensitivity to noise describes my experience to a tee. I also wear a hearing aid and had to remove it because it just added to the amplification of this noise. It wasn’t as if it was thundering noise to everyone else only to me. I felt that people thought I was over exaggerating. At dinner some youth decided to run a wet finger around the tops of the drinking glasses. .some adults joined them and my head was exploding. I had to go to the ladies room to get away from this invasion in my head from the noise.

March 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm
(133) Lynette says:

I never thought this was a fibromyalgia thing but the non-stop sound of a barking dog will send me over the edge. I can not tone it down and certainly can not ignore it. I have to actually leave to get away form it or I feel I will go insane.

April 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm
(134) Mary says:

We have a dot-matrix printer at my work for invoices. It drives me to the brink of insanity! The noice is “killing” me and everyone thinks I am just being a B$&?!&! Help, how do you get others to understand it is absolute torture for me?

June 16, 2013 at 11:46 pm
(135) Julie Bland says:

I also have ADD.. not as Hyper at 53 yrs old, but a bit…. I am suffering terribly now because of the fibro. as well. With the ADD never have been able to shut out sounds (exams were always a nightmare… rattling pencil cases/ ticking clocks etc) As I have gotten older it has got worse and worse.. Clocks have to be buried under mounds of clothing (battery) because I will hear their hands sweep… air travel has always been the pits… and have a holiday booked for 6 wks time which I am trying so hard to get excited about :-( for my kids sake…flying back from USA overnight is going to mess me right up.. and already getting up too many times at 4am per week. Of course the sleep is never recovered in my case because of the hyperactivity I cannot nap. I had flu a few weeks back – stayed in bed 4 hrs .. that’s the best I can do.. last time I was sick in bed was three years ago.. the fibro hasn’t helped that just made me more sleep and rest deprived than ever.
I find that the noise of Emergency vehicles is deafening, and if workman are digging up the roads I have to cover my ears it’s painfully loud.
Of course the limbs ache, sometimes I feel like my skin is burnt and clothes hurt… I may be SAD. to a degree, and I find now the light means I have to wear a hat or sunglasses otherwise you get the most horrendous headaches…
I eat well, take vitamin supplements and try to stay as mobile as possible – I don’t do the gym, walking, occasional swims, gardening and chores …menopausal symptoms are also overlapping so of course that doesn’t help either…

July 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm
(136) Emmanuel says:

i dont know much english but i would like to share something that’s been bugging me for my entire life: for some reasons i cant stand some kind of noises like when u are in a parade the drums sound stucks in my head and i feel like a rat trapped. i cant be in places wheres theres a lot of people talking cuz the voices (or the whispers) starts bothering me. And whats have me worried is that i have a kid 2 and 6 months old and ive notice that he has the same problem as me for example when the neighbors were celebrating new year the firecrackers startle him in such a way he covered his ears and starts trembling and crying so much i had to leave the place with him. Another example is when someones coughs he do the same thing but with other noises hes ok. i was like that since i was a kid too. i even hted school for the reason i cant stand everyone talking cuz i was hearing their voices stucking inmy head….. i would like someones opinion or if someone has the same problem….thank you and sorry about my english

July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am
(137) Betty says:

I wear hearing aids and am almost totally deaf without them. The best part of my day is when I take them off at night – ah, the silence is bliss!! Also, a suggestion for those that are bothered by the TV – I turn the volume off and read the closed-captioning. That is so peaceful and no jolting noises.

July 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm
(138) syl says:

Adrienne, thank you so very much for your insightful blog. I am going to print it up along with some of the comments and hand the page out to people who don’t know or understand about fibromyalgia and think that I am just being indulgent or acting like a prima donna.

I live in a retirement hotel and stopped going down to the dining room a few years ago because of the noise level. It really assauled me, but do people understand….probably not. I finally realized what they think doesn’t really matter as I am the one who has to deal with the disconfort of the noise, etc.so now I dine in solitude in my apartment and am very peaceful.
I avoid places where there could be a level of noise that would create a fibromyalgia incident and it does limit my social life. But I have finally accepted the fact that allowing pain and discomfort into my environment is self defeating.
As a writer I keep telling myself to put out a pamphlet geared to the average lay person who has no concept of this debilitating condition, but so far am just thinking about it..
Again, thanks for the write up and to all who made comments I send my appreciation.

July 17, 2013 at 9:23 pm
(139) Phyllis says:

I thought that I was the only one with noise sensitivity. It’s so nice to know that I’m not alone. The cars with the big base boomers–I feel them before I hear them. Now I know I’m not crazy. Thanks so much!!

July 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm
(140) ingrid says:

I can so relate. I am very noise sensitive. The dog barking sounds magnified. Too much noise feel overwhelmed and very frustrated. Makes me wanna scream or cry actually both. So yep all u said makes sense.

August 12, 2013 at 8:14 am
(141) Charles says:

My hearing has become sensitive at the same time as being diagnosed with fibro myalgia. I wear ear plugs 24hrs a day, that’s the industrial memory foam type that come in a box of 200. In supermarkets I am not comfortable unless I wear ear muffs over the ear plugs because of the noisy “background music” that they play, crashing trollies, screaming kids, and all of this mixing with the drone of refrigeration compressors.
It completely destroys my concentration.

August 28, 2013 at 7:45 am
(142) Bren says:

I have heightened sensitivities, to sound, light, food medications,and chemicals, i am very isolated as im all so Severely chemically sensitive, and have been Diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome Also have Disautonomia and Pots, which have been atributed to my sensitivities, i also have tested positive for Lymes disease, my reason for posting is that Disautonomia of the nervous system can be caused by other chronic illnesses..as can Cfs and fibro, a lot also for Lymes disease…

August 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm
(143) Candie Magill says:

It is not fibromyalgia. It is electrical hypersensitivity. Many are misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia as well as a host of other diagnosis including but not limited to MS. The thing they never seem to notice is that none of these MS “victims” ever die. They tried to misdiagnos me at one point. It is electrical sensitivity if you go someplace with 0 electricity for a week and you feel better. If you get no relief from avoiding electrical appliances it isn’t.

September 14, 2013 at 1:33 am
(144) Karen Stephens says:

This is the first time I have written a comment on the internet. I only do so now because I am amazed at the number of people who have the same over-sensitive hearing. At times I want to grab a person who is shouting or a kid who is screaming OR laughing. My husband and I went to a Cracker Barrel last year. Usually, they play background music lightly and it does not bother me too much, but this day the place was crowded and they had cranked up the music. I do not know who was singing but it was the most horrific screechy noise I have heard in a very long time. I tried to get a manager to turn it down or off or change it, nope, it was left on, the same song – over and over. Finally, our food came and I gulped it down as fast as I could and got out of there. My nerves were shot, I was shaking and ready to chew off a manager’s head. I contacted Cracker Barrel headquarters about the situation and they gave us free meal coupons, but most importantly, they dealt with the restaurant manager!
I live in a fairly quiet area, until this summer. A man bought the lot next to us and has asked our city to let him put a 400 square foot digital billboard with “voice” next to our yard. He plans to run this monstrosity all day until 11:00 PM (the hour our noise ordinance specifies). He plans to play music, entertainment, advertising etc. All Day. There is no way I can live through this, he also plans to put a park in this tiny area and draw crowds of people, he said he won’t put up a fence to contain his activities. There is a planning board meeting this coming Tuesday, I will go and try to make them understand how devastating this will be to my life. To those of you who believe in prayer, please pray for me. Thanks

November 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm
(145) Deoxy says:

So have none of you ever thought to take an adrenal supplement to support the obvious fatigue causing the hearing sensitivity?

November 11, 2013 at 7:39 pm
(146) Mad Mary says:

I found this site when I was Googling repetitive noise sensitivity. I don’t think I have fibromyalgia, because the noise doesn’t cause me physical pain, but repetitive noises and high pitched, screechy noises make me want to scream! I live in a small town, and the only grocery store within 18 miles is a Safeway. The PA system there drives me absolutely crazy. The Muzak doesn’t bother me, but they play commercials after every song that drive me to distraction. They also have some kind of alert for employees that goes, “Attention Service Desk, two zero one”. It plays over and over again. A couple times I actually said, “Shut the hell up!” out loud. I have to mute the TV during commercials to avoid going out of my mind. High pitched guitar solos can be so irritating they can almost make me cry. I’ve given up trying to sit through movie previews. (Due to the the booming noises and the flashing lights.) I wait in the lobby and have my husband text me when the movie is about to begin. I can’t concentrate if two people are talking to me at once. My next door neighbors recently put up a basketball hoop very close to our livingroom window. When they are out shooting hoops, the sound of the ball bouncing over and over on the pavement makes me want to go out there with a knife and slit it!
Anyway, glad to see I’m not the only one. Comments are very interesting. I sat here all afternoon and read each and every one of them.

November 18, 2013 at 9:51 am
(147) Good says:

Noise…yes, I can relate…People playing not just one, but MULTIPLE radios on in same house. One upstairs, one downstairs. It may be the wavelength, or it may be the sh*t quality of music that is invariably played, but whatever it is, I don’t want to listen to it.
TVs. Especially sport programmes, football crowds. There should be a word specially made up to describe the sound of English football crowds cheering. UGH.
Traffic noise. Particularly tyres on wet tarmac. That rough slithery sound. My accommodation is next a main road and it does my head in.
Family environments. People talking. Especially when the content of their conversation is negligible (most cases).
Openplan offices. Fluorescent lights.

I deal with most of this by having a very quiet lifestyle (no husband/ family – do not know that I could deal with that!) and wearing Bioears earplugs, which do actually blot out most of the day to day noise and are a godsend. I write my own music and find listening to it (with headphones) also calms me and uplifts me, unlike most commercial music.
I’m not sure I trust white noise as a treatment…has always sounded too much like radio for my liking.

November 24, 2013 at 8:02 pm
(148) Taylor says:

i find my stomach starts to really hurt after awhile, if i am with a lot of people. Even if i am with people i know. Why is that?

November 30, 2013 at 9:21 pm
(149) Kimberly Godsil says:

my boyfriend talks alot and repeats him u just said that or shhh listen to the movie so we know what is going on…my stomach tightens then my legs feel like they have lightening bolts going through them…then i know i visited him too long…i avoid him during flare ups at this point i dont even want a relationship…not able to carry out plans.He doesnt get it no matter what he says “well ypu look fine” or oh your just being lazy ( that really hurts)

December 27, 2013 at 10:36 pm
(150) Lorraine Keenan says:

How do you people wear EARPLUGS. To put anything in my ears is soooo painful I have tried all kinds I absolutely hate this over sensitivity to everything. I looked up this subject because my husband refuses to believe it is real and no one else has it He will not read anything on fibro just says it’s all ME being difficult. He is a social butterfly, always wanting people over or going out to dinner. I cannot tolerate more tha. One conversation going on. My brain is trying to hear absolutely everything around me and it is so stressful. I did not realize that the noise was actually increasing my pain levels
I hate lights as well and smell things that other people don’t notice. Smells very often make me vomit here thinks I put that on too as just the thought of some smells will make me start to feel sick, but it is just cause I KNOW what happens EVERYTIME I smell certain things.
I love my music but have to be totally by myself with NO other noise. Music with people talking makes me want to scream shopping centers are hell on earth the centre plays music then every individual shop plays music and then hundreds of people talking babies crying etc is a nightmare. You cannot go into ANY shop! cafe, dress shop, supermarket, doctors, everywhere and there is music or even worse, television on
I am so so tired of everything about this disgusting illness. My husband refuses to accept there is anything wrong with me except I am lazy So wish I could die but everyone I know who has tried has failed and life ends up worse

March 11, 2014 at 11:52 am
(151) tbalizan says:

When confronted by crowds or noises I feel overwhelmed and literally start shaking and want to scream to make it stop. I suffer with panic attacks, muscle spasms and I have to get myself out of the situation. I thought I was going crazy until I found out about fibromyalgia symptoms. I leave and breathe…

March 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm
(152) Eddie says:

Thank god it is not only me the cars noise passing by my house the sound of lawn mower and air plane and noice of the dish receiver drives me crazy I have pain in my left arm and neck all the time and I’m very tired please help thank you

April 12, 2014 at 1:17 am
(153) -B- says:

It’s nice to read that I’m not going crazy when I think noises bother me. I have FM, among other things (although I do wonder at times if I also suffer from CFS).

There are certain noises I just cannot handle, like when one of my cats is near me and licking themselves. Silly, I know but the noise, it isn’t an annoyance, it actually bothers me to the point I feel like I’m going to go nuts. I have to shoo them out of earshot otherwise I feel like I could snap (and by snap, I just mean like yell at them VS. shooing them, I would NEVER physically, mentally or emotionally hurt or harm an animal).

Other noise issues are when I’m in the car. There are times I can talk and listen to the radio at the same time, but then there are times when my mom might be driving and she has the radio on and the windows down and the sound of the wind, the cars and the radio start to give me sensory overload. When those times happen, I sort of feel like I’m on a merry-go-round and it’s going faster and faster and everyone’s laughter and screams are amplified exponentially and the world is spinning so fast, I can’t get a solid grip with both feet. I want to put my hands over my ears to rid myself of the noise but I know that won’t work, so I just turn everything down and put the windows up and ask to sit in silence for a little bit.

The interesting aspect of this issue is that it doesn’t happen 24/7/365. It comes out of the blue at random moments. I haven’t figured out if it has anything to do with other health issues, or days when I’m overly stressed, etc… I’d love to say I’ll do an experiment one day and write down everything to see if there is a pattern, but I’ve been suffering from Fibro-Fog for several months and no amount of notebooks or post-its will help me figure out or remember anything. :-/

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