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Using White Noise to Treat Migraine Symptoms
Phonophobia, an extreme sensitivity to noise is one of the most unpleasant side effects of migraine headaches. Doctors can’t help with this sensitivity, but there is hope. The phonophobia most migraine patients experience is particularly sensitive to very loud noises or sudden noises. White noise can help. What is white noise? If you’ve seen Pollyanna, you know that white light is actually composed of light from every color of the spectrum. White noise is a combination of all audible frequencies.
The sounds are spread evenly across the frequency band so that no one single sound or frequency stands out. When the frequencies are mixed they cancel each other out and create a deadening effect. This deadening effect has helped some migraine sufferers by masking other, more painful sounds during a headache. One of the best natural ways to relieve migraine pain is to sleep through it. Migraine pain makes it hard to fall asleep, especially when you add in the photo- and phonosensitive elements.
A white noise machine or recording can help soothe the sensitivity long enough to allow a migraineur to fall asleep. For migraineurs who experience prodrome symptoms, symptoms that let them know a migraine is coming, white noise can help stave off a headache. For many migraine sufferers, noise is a headache trigger and the noise canceling properties can help stop a headache by removing the noise trigger from the environment. One article even suggested that white noise machines be made available to migraineurs at work as a prophylactic measure to reduce lost time due to headache. Some people find relief from migraines by staring at the static--visual white noise--on a television screen set between channels or with the cable unplugged. Some report that the migraine disappears completely. Those who use visual white noise recommend doing so with the sound off. .
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