Saturday, June 15, 2013

Migraine & Headache Awareness Month #15

For today's Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge post I am using one of the alternative prompts- Temple Grandin: "A school bell sounded like a dentist drill going through my ears."

There are many side effects that occur because when one experiences a Migraine.  Not everyone experiences them all, and not everyone experiences the same ones.  One that is very common, however, is phonophobia, or noise sensitivity.

When experiencing phonophobia the slightest whisper can sound like someone screaming is in your ear.  You suddenly begin to notice every sound in your environment.  Every sound you hear is amplified so much so that the pain in your ears begins to match that of your Migraine.

I usually get that acute super-sonic hearing that phonophobia causes along with my Migraines.  It varies in intensity along with the intensity of my Migraine.  At its worst I cannot even stand the sound of the fan in our bedroom.  Also, for some reason, it always seems that the neighbor chooses to mow his lawn when I have my worst Headaches.  When this happens I will pop in my earplugs and pray for sleep.  

On other days, when the pain is not so severe that I lock myself in my room curled up with my earplugs and face mask, I am able to lay down on the couch and watch TV.  My husband usually abandons his TV watching when this happens.  The reason is that the volume that suits him sounds like the actors are screaming through megaphones to me, and in order to sound normal to me I have to turn it down so low that he can't hear it.

It is also possible for the phonophobia to make the Migraine worse.  (It's a sort of chicken or egg thing.)  I remember one time we were at a concert when I started to get a Migraine.  I had left my Maxalt in the car, so we decided to leave.  Before we could get out of our seats the band began to play and my pain level skyrocketed.  I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Phonophobia is a difficult side effect of Migraine.  Unfortunately, since we can't turn down the volume of the world, we must learn to adapt and create our own silence.

-Jennifer Gayle

June 2013, Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, is dedicated to Unmasking the Mystery of Chronic Headache Disorders. The 2013 Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is a project of


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