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Migraine hacks I wish for: Psychic Earplugs

I’m back for another installment of my new Migraine Hacks I Wish For Series.

File this under Impossible Inventions or Things I Wish Existed.

As someone who has dealt with migraine for 20 (!) years now, I have gotten acquainted with my disease and its manifestations fairly well.  Of course we all know that migraine is tricky—new triggers can emerge, patterns can alter, and every time we think we know the ins and outs of our particular condition, things can change. One thing that has remained consistent for me is my sensitivity to sound whether or not I am in the middle of a migraine episode.

Sometimes loud noises bother me because they’re just obnoxious.  I press play on the stereo at home, forgetting that it was at full volume last time we were listening to it. The sound blasts out and I can’t cover your ears fast enough.  I may not get a migraine, but it’s aggravating all the same.

Other times, my sensitivity to noise is a harbinger of the migraine to come. It’s as if the attack is already on its way, the dominoes set in motion, but I don’t even realize it until I notice I can’t tolerate the loud sounds around me, including everyday noises others can live with easily, such as the REALLY LOUD hand dryers in public restrooms.

And when I have a migraine, loud sounds are the worst. It’s as if the rest of the world is at volume level three and my personal speakers are cranked up to a nine or ten.  Sometimes I feel a migraine coming on and can help keep it at bay by noticing the early signs and making sure I steer clear of potential triggers. Jim will ask me to listen to his newest track (he’s a musician), and I’ll listen but ask him to turn down the volume a bit first.

But on to my Migraine Hack #2. (My first wished-for hack was for magical glasses, described here. While there are some glasses that can really help, I don’t think there’s the chance that my specific wished-for glasses would ever come to fruition.)

I want a super-duper earplug/ear covering device that will know of any loud noises before they happen. The Psychic Earplugs will anticipate sound waves before they can reach my ears, and they will activate post-haste. Before the loud noise can affect me, the Psychic Earplugs will engage and my ears will be blocked against the offensive sounds as long as they last.  They work everywhere: are you in a public restroom right near someone who’s about to use that obnoxiously loud hand-dryer? Are you in the city about to walk past a construction worker with a jackhammer? Are you on a plane next to an infant who’s about to wail?

Let’s pretend Psychic Earplugs are a reality. Where do you think you’d use them most frequently? In what sort of situation would they come in handy for you?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • marti
    5 years ago

    I would sooooo use these at work! My department is above the maintenance department and they’re always drilling or hammering something. Then there are the phones ringing constantly, people banging on their keyboards, the printers and faxes beeping, people talking too loud, breathing too loud…and don’t even get me started on the fluorescent lights buzzing…..

    And by the way, mykl66, loud music doesn’t bother me either, unless I have a super bad migraine. I think it is because of the rhythm. It’s noise, but it’s a predictable noise. My brain knows what’s coming next with music, unlike other chaotic noise, which just feels like an assault.

  • mykl66
    5 years ago

    While those hand dryers are loud and irritating as are leaf blowers, sometimes extremely loud rock music, heavy metal or punk, can actually make me feel better. Someone suggested the rhythms can soothe, others think I love music so much and they see how much joy I get from it that it may trigger some chemicals in the brain to make me feel pleasure.

  • Sara
    5 years ago

    The other day I was on the phone at work and all the sudden I was feeling irritated by this loud noise. I could still swear to you that it sounded like someone was running a leaf blower right INSIDE the building. It was driving me nuts!!
    I finished up my phone call & tried to focus in on the noise. With both ears able to focus on the noise, I realized that it was the “white noise” filter system in our building. We have an open floor plan and so we have this white noise filter system that sounds like a really loud AC unit is running. I had been having some crazy pre-migraine stages all day, and had obviously hit the hypesensitivity to sound stage.
    Luckily I have in-ear headphones I put in when I get like this to knock out “some” of the noise (and some light music). I could have used the Psychic Earplus to have detected that I was reaching that level of anxiety before it happened though. Would have been nice to know before it hit me.

  • kmripple
    5 years ago

    I would love to have a pair of these. Two requests though, can it also block/shield voices when people are talking and all you are getting is fuzz and getting irked at them not shutting up because you are too gone to decipher what they are saying? And can they block my voice when I am in the middle of a severe attack? I find that sometimes the most bothersome noise of all is the sound I make with my vocal chords. It just sounds unbearably loud! Thanks for making me laugh!

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