Seeking Quiet

Seeking quiet for the treatment of migraine headaches: an introduction

Sounds, loud noises in particular, trigger migraines in some migraine sufferers.

Sensitivity to sound, or phonophobia, is a migraine symptom for more than 70 percent of people with migraines. Therefore, the logical solution is for people experiencing a migraine to find a quiet place to avoid sounds that could make the pain worse.

People who suffer from migraines are also more likely to avoid noise than those individuals who have other types of headaches.

Some people find that sensitivity to sound remains post migraine. While others complain that noises seem louder.

Studies on migraines and sounds sensitivity

Some scientists and researchers have found evidence that brains of migraine sufferers don’t suppress sound sensitivity properly.

Others in the field are examining whether a problem with the calcium channel – found in the brain and inner ear – are responsible for the sound-related symptoms.

Often people with migraines don’t realize they are sensitive to sound. When asked if they experience sound sensitivity during migraines, 26 percent of those in a 2008 study said they did not. When researchers asked those who didn’t think they were sensitive to sound

Most people with migraines – 95.5 percent according to one study – would choose a quiet room over one with loud music during a migraine attack. The 2008 study found that many migraine sufferers don’t realize they have this sound sensitivity, since 26 percent if they’d rather be in a quiet room or a room with loud music, 95.5 percent chose quiet room, indicating a possible sensitivity to sound.

Sensitivity to sound is more common in younger migraine sufferers than in older ones.

Age & Percentage who suffer from sensitivity to sound

18 to 38 age: 77 percent

60+ of age: 67 percent



As always, the best source for advice on treating your migraines is your own migraine specialist. These descriptions of natural remedies are provided only for informational purposes. You should begin no treatment regimen, medication or supplement without first checking with your physician. Again, this information should in no way substitute or be mistaken for medical advice.

Written by: Otesa Miles | Last review date: November 2010
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