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LivetoErr

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Do you experience sensory overload with Fibromyalgia?

This is an interesting the effects our senses have on Fibromyalgia.

I have numbness and tingling sensations in my extremities, burning skin, sensitivity to odors and dry, burning eyes. I also get strange sensations like there are bugs walking on my arms. It's not quite tingling; it's more of a creepy crawly sensation. It occurs, most often, after a massage.

I don't mind loud music but I swear someone turned up the volume on the microwave, fridge, water cooler and freezer, recently. I've been sitting outside because I can't handle the noises inside, right now. When my phone went haywire the other day and wouldn't stop vibrating, it annoyed me so much, I gave myself a headache.
 
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Chrispy93

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yes, i have many of those issues and have talked to others with the same. it is hard to deal with because your attention won't let you ignore it. and if you ask, "do you smell that", or "do you hear that", they usualy don't and look at you like you have 4 heads. sometimes i can smell something outside i know noone else can smell and i can't even describe what it is. (ozone maybe i dono) i don't like it. lately my inner ears have been humming. no escaping that. all these noises, smells, and tingles are enough to drive one over the edge.
 

sweetlemons

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yes, i have many of those issues and have talked to others with the same. it is hard to deal with because your attention won't let you ignore it. and if you ask, "do you smell that", or "do you hear that", they usualy don't and look at you like you have 4 heads. sometimes i can smell something outside i know noone else can smell and i can't even describe what it is. (ozone maybe i dono) i don't like it. lately my inner ears have been humming. no escaping that. all these noises, smells, and tingles are enough to drive one over the edge.
I can smell it! :) I'm always asking "you can't smell that?" Then it irritates me that others can't smell it! I always thought something was wrong with them! You mean to tell me, it's me again? Dang! It's so draining. Smelling, hearing things so loudly, things being so bright! And, why do people have to walk so loud? It just intensifies the pain and struggle. Glad I'm not alone though, thanks!
 

LivetoErr

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I don't get sensory overload in the smell department. Most of the time, I'm the one who can't smell what everyone else can. I attribute that to allergies and the fact I always have a plugged or runny nose. Unless, it's cleaning supplies. I cannot stand anything that remotely smells like bleach, lemon or pine. Raid gives me an instant headache. I don't know if that's tied to sensory problems or sensitivities.

My ear is plugged right now and I can hear myself breathing. Talk about annoying! Normally, I hear things that most people don't. One day we were watching TV (and the TV volume is usually up because Dad can't hear), and I could hear this drip, drip, drip. No one else was hearing it but, to me, it was louder than loud. Upon investigation we found that our split air conditioner was leaking. Who knows how much water would have ended up on the floor if I hadn't heard it.
 

l3itch

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yes, i have many of those issues and have talked to others with the same. it is hard to deal with because your attention won't let you ignore it. and if you ask, "do you smell that", or "do you hear that", they usualy don't and look at you like you have 4 heads. sometimes i can smell something outside i know noone else can smell and i can't even describe what it is. (ozone maybe i dono) i don't like it. lately my inner ears have been humming. no escaping that. all these noises, smells, and tingles are enough to drive one over the edge.

This made me laugh hard. It reminded me of the last time I was at my dad's house and his refrigerator was clearly malfunctioning and I kept saying "you don't hear that?!?" - then came the 4 head look. He actually put his ear on the door of the refrigerator and gave me the look again. Very comical.

I've always tried to make light of the situation, like I have super-human powers and extra senses.

I live out in the absolute boonies - far, far, far away from city noises and lights. I thought for sure I would feel better, but you would not believe how bright the moon is. You would not believe how insanely loud overhead air planes are. When you take out all of the normal background noises the ones left take over.

Also, I'm not sure why (may be a sign) but the tone and volume of my husband's voice makes my ears scream. Every time he talks to me I have to tell him to turn down the volume and he gets mad. I've actually started turning an imaginary knob on his mouth while he's talking so I don't interrupt him. I think it's hilarious, but he doesn't. LOL

I have ringing in my ears and what I call the marshmallow effect. It's like someone stuffed some marshmallows way deep down inside my ears - like in the middle of my head - and everything is muffled for a bit. Sometimes it throbs when it does it, almost like pressure in my head. I have crazy hearing especially higher pitched noises.

I have the worst light sensitivity. Everything is too bright. When I look at something bright then look away everything strobes for like 5 minutes. I get ocular migraines too.

Chemicals of any sort, lots of soaps, people who wear too much perfume - my nose can't take it. If someone is wearing a lot of perfume I have to leave. I can't handle it. It's like Chinese water torture.

There are also some foods that I just can NOT stand eating. I am the least picky eater in the world, but if you give me something having to do with pickled anything It's like instant hell. I can't even be in the same room as a pickle. I can smell pickle juice on someone hours after they ate one. EEW.

I love this forum. I can just vent about this weird stuff that I wouldn't dare tell anyone face to face and you all get it! Not only that, but one day someone else may read this post and feel better, just like I do right now. Nice. :mrgreen:
 

Sharon

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I get sensory overloads from bright lights, sudden noises, computer screens, dog barking, walking up and down aisles in stores...you name it.
 

audreyuelise

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I get sensory overload a lot and it's really frustrating and confusing sometimes. Lately light and sound have been the worst. The sun is really bright because we have snow everywhere and I've been getting migraines as well :(
 

Mikira

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I have this constantly. For years I've been tearing the tags out of my clothes, I've scratched my skin raw without realizing it from seams and tags touching my skin. I've been sensitive to bright light for ages, lately I have to take a lot more breaks from the computer, which is not great since what work I can do involves a computer. (And yes, snow + sun = migraine.) My legs are constantly tingling, and I've had enough bouts of my arms going numb that it's made me terrified of driving. I get crawling sensations on my scalp. I also get the tinnitus in my ears. A lot of smells give me a headache - mostly perfumes of any kind (including lotions and cleaning supplies). I rarely eat fish anymore if I can help it because I can't handle the smell. I also hate loud noises - ie tv turned up too loud, my SO purposely making the dog bark, etc.
 

l3itch

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It's so nice to know It's not just me. :)
 

Jennyflower81

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Yes, I totally understand what you mean. One website describes the "sensory gateway" and it is about research and treatments for CFS and FMS. The sensory gateway in our brain is actually unable to filter stimuli in the way normal people's brains do. Therefore, we get bombarded and overwhelmed by sensations that don't bother other people. Before fibromyalgia, I never had many sensory issues, except for scratchy clothing on my skin- literally everything I wear must be as soft-as-can-be! lol. Now, I cannot tolerate high or low temperatures, and I feel extremely ill when it is hot and humid outside. I've been formally diagnosed with tinnitus and hyperacusis, which is like torture, I have to wear earplugs often. I am very sensitive to loud TV shows and movies, such as ones with loud dramatic music that blasts out of nowhere, or sword fights and gunfights. I also hate perfumes and air fresheners- everything I use must be unscented. These sensations lead to anxiety, which keeps our "fight-or-flight" response on at all times, which is why we cannot sleep well at night! It is a vicious cycle.
 

Trellum

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Yeah, I have suffered from sensory overload in the past, but back then I had no idea what it was! I didn't even know there was a term for that bunch of weird symptoms, I just thought that was my fibro acting up! There were times I thought I was just crazy or those were normal sensations, specially the tingling sensation in certain areas of my skin. Glad to know there is a reason behind those symptoms, for a while I thought something was wrong with my nerves and brain (saw several neurologist and everything was just fine!).

Good to know this is nothing to be worried about (I've far too many things to be worried about already). It's also nice to know this isn't as uncommon as I thought :)
 

MEgersheim

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Everything you mentioned happens to me when I am very tired or stressed. I have yet to receive a message.
It also happens when there is too much going on, for example if there are more than needed amount of lights on, and say a fan, and the television, and a radio, and the microwave is going and someone starts talking to me as my phone rings...
I would have to take myself out of the room immediately as I would get a headache for sure. The lights would get VERY bright, and all the noises would blend into one, like you would see in a movie when the character is having an acid trip or something. Also, my skin would feel like it was getting electrocuted lightly but in a pattern down my arm from my neck to my fingers.
I find that if I go to a dark, soft place it will slow down but not stop.
 
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