Friday, November 8, 2013

Shhhhhhhhhh!



We've all been there - you are sitting in a restaurant and someone in the next booth has a voice that grates on your nerves. Or, you are trying to get some work done and the person in the next cubicle is having a loud conversation on the phone. Most of the time we can tune out these irritants.

But, what happens when noise becomes something much more than just irritating? What happens when sounds feel like a physical assault?


Knowing when something is wrong

It takes me a while to clue in to the fact that something has become a real problem. I knew I was sensitive to certain noises, but what happened to me last night took it to a whole new level of weird. Before I go any further, I need to give you the bigger picture. This is how my day was going before IT happened -
  • I woke up exhausted
  • I didn't lie down to rest at all afternoon
  • I had a long phone call that left my ears buzzing and my head spinning
  • Rather than rest, I chose to watch a funny TV show that left me with chest pains
At this point I should have just gone to bed. Instead, I decided to make my protein shake for my morning's breakfast.
 
     enter the blender!         (cue in menacing music)
I pushed the start button and...
B A M !!
IT happened!! I felt a wave of... well, I can't even think of how to describe it - almost like an electric shock course through my body. It left me in a cold sweat with a pain in my forehead like someone was hitting me square between the eyes with a hammer.

They have a name for that

Noise sensitivity + Chronic Fatigue Syndrome = hyperacusis
There isn't a lot of information on this strange phenomenon, but that doesn't change the fact that it is very real and can be very debilitating. While it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and riddled with anxiety, there are ways to mitigate some of its effects:
  • Rest, rest and more rest! Our bodies can tolerate much more when we aren't ridiculously exhausted.
  • Wear earplugs - It may seem a bit silly, but desperate times call for desperate measures! Wear earplugs to go to the movies, sporting events, and - yes, even when using your blender.
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Do you suffer from hyperacusis? What have you learned about it? How do you cope? Have your doctors been able to help you, or have you found alternative therapies to help ease your symptoms?

Wishing you a quiet and restful evening,
Kristina