Migraine Insights: My Relationship with Noise

Migraine Insights: My Relationship with Noise


Have you ever noticed how certain sounds can trigger an intense migraine attack? If you experience migraine attacks, you’re not alone. Many individuals with migraine attacks also have a heightened sensitivity to noise, which can worsen the symptoms and frequency of their attacks. In this article, I’ll share my personal experiences with noise sensitivity and provide insights into living with and managing this aspect of migraine attacks.

Living with Noise Sensitivity

Noise sensitivity, also known as phonophobia, can significantly impact daily life for individuals experiencing migraine attacks. When noise triggers a migraine, it can lead to difficulty focusing or concentrating, increased irritability or anxiety, and the avoidance of loud environments.

For me, noise sensitivity has been a constant challenge. The sound of a door slamming, a car honking, or even loud conversations can quickly escalate my migraine symptoms. I find it difficult to concentrate on tasks or engage in conversations when there is background noise. The constant fear of triggering a migraine attack makes it challenging to live a normal, noise-filled life.

One example of a noise sensitivity experience I had was during a family gathering. The room was filled with laughter, music, and chatter. As the noise levels increased, I could feel my head throbbing and the onset of a migraine. I had to retreat to a quieter space to find relief and minimize the intensity of the attack.

Read more about noise-induced migraine attacks and how they affect individuals like me.

Identifying Noise Triggers

Understanding your individual noise triggers is crucial for managing noise sensitivity and reducing the frequency of migraine attacks. Keeping a detailed migraine diary can help identify patterns and trends in noise sensitivity.

When tracking your migraine attacks, make sure to record the noise levels during each attack. Note the frequency and severity of migraine attacks triggered by noise. This information will help you identify specific noise triggers and develop strategies for avoiding or minimizing exposure to them.

For example, in my migraine diary, I noticed that high-pitched noises such as alarms or sirens were more likely to trigger an attack for me. Armed with this knowledge, I was able to be more cautious when in situations where these noises were present, and take proactive steps to protect myself from potential triggers.

Tracking Noise Exposure

Tracking noise exposure can provide valuable insights into your personal noise thresholds and identify specific noise triggers or patterns that contribute to your migraine attacks. By understanding your noise exposure, you can take proactive steps to reduce the risk of triggering a migraine.

A noise-tracking app on your smartphone can help monitor and analyze your daily noise exposure. These apps can provide data on the noise levels in your environment and help you identify patterns or specific triggers. Alternatively, you can keep a noise exposure log, noting the dates, times, and descriptions of noisy events that may have influenced your migraine attacks.

For instance, I started using a noise-tracking app on my phone and discovered that prolonged exposure to construction noises during my commute was a significant trigger for my migraine attacks. Armed with this information, I rearranged my schedule and found alternative routes to minimize my exposure to construction sites, resulting in a decrease in migraine attacks.

Managing Noise Sensitivity

Managing noise sensitivity during migraine attacks is essential for finding relief and minimizing the impact on your daily life. Here are some strategies that have personally helped me:

  • Find a quiet and calm environment to rest during migraine attacks.
  • Use noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to block out background noise.
  • Create a noise-free oasis in your home where you can relax and find relief from noise triggers.

In addition to these strategies, communication with others about your noise sensitivity is crucial. Educate your friends, family, and coworkers about the impact of noise on your migraine attacks. Request accommodations or adjustments in noisy environments to minimize your exposure to triggering sounds.

For example, I spoke with my manager about my noise sensitivity and requested a quieter workspace. They were accommodating and provided me with a designated area away from noisy colleagues, which significantly improved my productivity and reduced the frequency of my migraine attacks.

Seeking Support and Treatment

Discussing your noise sensitivity with healthcare professionals is important for effective migraine management. They can provide guidance on how to manage noise sensitivity and may suggest appropriate treatment options. Support from migraine communities or support groups can also be beneficial in finding understanding and coping strategies.

Treatment options for managing noise sensitivity may include medications for migraine prevention or therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or mindfulness techniques. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your specific needs.

Connecting with others who experience similar challenges can provide a sense of validation and support. Online forums or local support groups can be excellent resources for finding understanding and sharing coping strategies.


Noise sensitivity can have a significant impact on the daily lives of individuals experiencing migraine attacks. By identifying noise triggers, tracking noise exposure, and implementing effective management strategies, it is possible to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks triggered by noise. Seeking support from healthcare professionals and connecting with others in similar situations can provide valuable insights and guidance. Remember, you are not alone in your journey to manage noise sensitivity and migraine attacks.

Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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