Hypersensitivity to sounds. What causes it?

Tammy7

Well-Known Member
My problems decreased significantly when I got up to adequate amounts of B12. But whenever I'm in a stressed state, for whatever reason, sensitivity increases.
Me too Veet..............it really helps calm down the stressed out CNS.
 

Lissa

Well-Known Member
Paw - not for me, it's not a matter of brain zaps. It's like an overwhelming escalation of irritation and anxiety. It's like being trapped in an Alfred Hitchcock movie and the birds are attacking from all sides. I guess is some ways, it's like a panic attack, where the cacophony of sound just overwhelms me and I just need it to stop... I think for me anyway, it's more GABA/glutamate related. Gaba drugs (mostly benzos) blunt the hypersensitivity and make it bearable. I've tried other things, including glutamate reducing meds (lamictal) and dopamine increasing drugs and they haven't provided the same relief.
Great description! Ditto for me. I also equate it to feeling like my brain's filter is broken. Everything comes in too loud (or bright) with equal weight on everything. Multiple conversations around me in a room become a garbled mess. Words from the current conversation get mixed with words from a different conversation across the room. Nothing makes sense. Way worse when it's loud and busy. Makes me feel overwhelmed and ready to explode if I can't escape!
 

Lissa

Well-Known Member
I also feel that way with certain types of music. I used to enjoy the radio, now I hardly ever listen to music. I find it disruptive, distracting, and often irritating. Especially if it is "jangly" music. Gives me the same sense of escalating annoyance if it won't stop... Like Hitchcock's birds attack scene!
Kind of sad really...
 

Remy

Administrator
I think for me anyway, it's more GABA/glutamate related. Gaba drugs (mostly benzos) blunt the hypersensitivity and make it bearable.
It's definitely GABA/glutamate related for me...only in my case, benzos made it about 1000x worse. When I started studying, it turns out that GABA has a bell shaped response curve and both too little GABA and too much GABA can cause the exact same symptoms. And sure enough, when I went back to my neurotransmitter testing, I had elevated GABA to go along with my elevated glutamate.

It made me wonder how many people have terrible sensitivity so are given benzos (because it's logical that they would help) but then don't really notice or just consider any worsening to be a "flare" rather than an actual exacerbation *caused* by the drug?

Obviously if the benzos help, that's one thing. But I carried on taking Valium for a couple of months even though I knew my sensitivity was getting worse because it didn't make any sense to me how that could happen. But there is actually a mechanism for it and maybe someday neurotransmitter testing could be used to see who might benefit from benzos to increase GABA and who might not.
 

Upgrayedd

Active Member
It's definitely GABA/glutamate related for me...only in my case, benzos made it about 1000x worse.
Wow! That is definitely unfortunate. Not withstanding their potential for addiction, benzos were my savior when nothing else worked, but I only took small doses. That's all I ever needed. Maybe if I took more I would have a reaction like you did.
 

lisaadele

Active Member
That certainly makes sense. Especially in a car at night... Opposing traffic is hell because the headlights burn a hole through the back of your skull! I won't drive at night because it's so bad that I'm afraid of driving into a ditch because it totally blinds me.

Anyone else also have problems when turning out the lights in a room? My husband thinks I'm nuts (kiddingly) because at first I really can't see anything. He'll turn out the lights as I'm crossing the room and for me it goes pitch black. Can't see a thing- trip over furniture, the cat etc. It takes much longer for my eyes to adjust than his, so while he's totally fine, it seems like I'm exaggerating!

Thanks for bringing this up!
Yes - same for me with the lights and going black. I also experience the same with night driving and car headlights. And lots of distortions from the oncoming lights.. bad combo for driving.
 

Merida

Well-Known Member
I had severe bouts of noise sensitivity for months directly after my neck injury . The exact chemical cascade will probably remain elusive unless people are willing to submit to spinal fluid draws. I agree with Victor's assessment.
 

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