What Sensitivity To Light And Sound May Indicate

Sensitivity to light and sound can be a strange, uncomfortable condition that often leaves sufferers feeling out of control. It can make it challenging to get through the day, as normal activities become hard to bear, whether it’s going shopping under bright lights or going to a loud movie. But it can also be a sign of an underlying issue that must be addressed, making it essential to understand what sensitivity to light and sound may indicate.

Anatomical Explanation Of How We See And Hear

The eyes and ears are two of the five senses we rely upon to take in information about our environment. Our eyes contain light-sensitive cells called rods and cones that help us perceive light, color, and movement. The rods and cones of the eyes send signals to neurons, which transmit information about what we’re seeing to the brain. This process, known as retinal processing, can be further complicated by intense light.

The same goes for sound waves that enter our ears: they pass through the outer ear and then travel to hair cells in the cochlea in the inner ear. These hair cells convert sound waves into electrical signals that are then sent to the brain via neurons. All of this information is constantly being processed and relayed, making it possible for us to perceive our environment. 

Common Causes Of Hearing And Vision Sensitivity

Sensitivity to light and sound is often caused by various minor factors, such as overstimulation or irritation from bright lights or loud noises. For example, fluorescent lights in an office building can be too bright for some people, leading to headaches and fatigue. Similarly, prolonged exposure to noise pollution like loud music or traffic can cause temporary hearing sensitivity. With that in mind, the following are some of the primary causes behind such sensitivity:

  • Eye Strain: Eye strain can occur when the eyes are used for too long or in a strained position (e.g., looking at screens), leading to fatigue and headaches. Such strain can also make the eyes more sensitive to light due to their weakened state.
  • Stress and Anxiety: In some cases, stress and anxiety can make people more sensitive to light, leading to headaches or migraines. This is because stress can cause the muscles of the eyes to tense up, leading to further discomfort. It can also affect your hearing, as stress hormones can cause your ears to become hypersensitive to sound.
  • Medication Side Effects: Certain medications can cause increased sensitivity to light and sound. For example, some drugs used to treat depression or anxiety, such as SSRIs, can lead to light sensitivity. Similarly, some antibiotics, such as aminoglycosides, may cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or even temporary hearing loss.

Accompanying Symptoms of Sensitivity to Light and Sound

There are a few other symptoms that often accompany sensitivity to light and sound. These include:

  • Nausea: Nausea is the feeling of discomfort or sickness in the stomach, often accompanied by an urge to vomit. It can occur both before and after eating food. In some cases, sensitivity to light and sound can be linked to nausea, as bright lights and loud noises can trigger a feeling of unease in those suffering from this condition.
  • Headache: Headaches are a common symptom of sensitivity to light and sound, as bright lights and loud noises can cause eye fatigue or muscle tension in the head. This can lead to dull aches and sharp pains around the affected area.
  • Dizziness: Dizziness is the feeling of lightheadedness or vertigo, which can often be accompanied by nausea and headaches. In some cases, it can be caused by sensitivity to light and sound due to the irritation it causes in the eyes or ears. 

Conditions Associated With Sensitivity To Sound And Light

When eye strain or stress is the reason behind sensitivity to light and sound, it can usually be resolved with rest or relaxation. However, in some cases, the cause of such sensitivity could be linked to a more serious condition. These conditions involve disruptions in the pathways that transmit visual or auditory information from the eyes and ears to the brain. 

It’s why you should consult with a medical professional if you’re experiencing sensitivity to light and sound on a regular basis. The following are some conditions that may be associated with such sensitivity:

Chronic Migraines and Headaches

Migraines are a severe condition that can cause intense throbbing or pulsing pain. Chronic migraines are recurring episodes of migraine headaches that occur more than 15 days out of the month. Both chronic migraines and headaches can cause sensitivity to light and sound. Additionally, many people suffering from chronic migraines experience a sensitivity to light and sound as a part of their aura, a set of neurological symptoms that can precede the headache itself and is a signifier of an oncoming migraine.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are a type of headache characterized by intense pain on one side of the head. They are incredibly severe and tend to recur in clusters, hence the name. Sensitivity to light and sound is often associated with this type of headache, as intense light can make the pain worse.


Tinnitus is the sensation of ringing or buzzing in the ears. It can be caused by various conditions, such as hearing loss or head trauma. This condition can also be caused by exposure to loud environmental noise on a regular basis, such as in the workplace. It can lead to temporary hearing sensitivity as it affects the nerves that transmit information from the ear to the brain. 

Head Injury

A head injury is one of the most serious causes of sensitivity to light and sound. When there has been trauma or damage to the brain, it can cause disruptions in the pathways that transmit sensory information from the eyes and ears to the brain. Therefore, sensitivity to light and sound may be present as a result of this trauma. 

Chronic Fatigue

Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience increased sensitivity to light or bright environments. This can make it challenging to be in certain settings, such as brightly lit offices or shopping centers.

Some people with CFS may even find that they have trouble looking at screens for extended periods of time. This could be due to the body’s increased sensitivity and overstimulation from external stimuli.

Underlying Psychological Disorders

In some cases, sensitivity to light and sound can be linked to underlying psychological disorders such as autism or ADHD. People with these conditions often have difficulty processing sensory information, which can lead to a heightened sensitivity to light and sound. Additionally, people with certain anxiety disorders may be more sensitive to environmental stimuli such as bright lights or loud noises.


Conventional Treatment Options

There are a few conventional treatment options available for those who suffer from sensitivity to light and sound. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the following are some of the more conventional treatment options that traditional medical professionals will prescribe:

  • Medications: In some cases, medications can be prescribed to treat the underlying condition associated with sensitivity to light and sound. For example, antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed for those with anxiety disorders. Similarly, certain migraine medications or pain relievers might reduce the intensity of headaches or migraines linked to light and sound sensitivity. However, such drugs will only provide temporary relief – they won’t cure the underlying problem. Additionally, some medicines come with potential side effects.
  • Symptomatic Treatments: Symptomatic treatments may be prescribed for those who only experience mild symptoms of light and sound sensitivity. This can include avoiding certain environmental triggers, such as bright lights or loud noises, or taking breaks from activities that can increase discomfort. Additionally, eye drops or earplugs may be used to lessen the intensity of certain stimuli.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: For those whose sensitivity to light and sound is caused by an underlying psychological disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used as a form of treatment. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps patients better understand the connection between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It can help individuals identify how their perceptions and beliefs about certain situations may be causing them distress and teach them coping strategies for managing their symptoms in a healthy way.
  • Sound Therapy: Sound therapy is a type of treatment that uses sound waves to help people reduce the intensity of their sensitivity to light and sound. It works by sending low-frequency sound waves into the inner ear, which can help reduce the sensitivity to external sounds. Additionally, certain types of music or binaural beats can be used in conjunction with sound therapy to further relax your mind and body.

Neuragenex NFPM Protocol To Treat Light And Sound Sensitivity

Neuragenex Neurofunctional Pain Management is a pain management protocol that can help those who suffer from light and sound sensitivity related to certain underlying conditions, such as cluster headaches. The treatment is based on the understanding that there are typically underlying neurological imbalances in the nervous system when it comes to chronic pain. We use a Neuragenex Neurofunctional Pain Management approach to identify these imbalances and treat them through stimulation of the nervous system.

Specifically, we use a combination of electrical stimulation therapy, IV therapy, and lifestyle counseling to help reset the nervous system and reduce light and sound sensitivity. This kind of treatment can be especially beneficial if you suffer from cluster headaches, as it can help take away the intensity of pain associated with this condition while also addressing any underlying neurological imbalances that may have contributed to its development in the first place.

With that in mind, the following are the non-surgical, non-invasive, and drug-free treatment solutions that we employ to treat patients on a whole-person level:


Electroanalgesia is a pain management technique that uses high-pulse electrical current to ease pain, boost blood circulation, improve mobility, and induce...

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IV Therapy

IV nutritional therapy, or intravenous therapy, involves administering vital nutrients directly to the bloodstream through an IV. This type of treatment bypasses the digestive system, allowing for maximum absorption and utilization of nutrients by the...

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Lifestyle Counseling

Lifestyle counseling is an approach to managing chronic pain that involves identifying, assessing, and modifying lifestyle factors contributing to an individual's pain. For example, lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical activity, stress, sleep quality...

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We Help You Return To Your Comfortable Days

We understand how difficult it can be to live with light and sound sensitivity. That’s why we provide comprehensive treatments that target the underlying cause of your symptoms and help you return to a more comfortable lifestyle. Our team is dedicated to helping you find a solution that works best for you and your individual needs. With our help, you can finally have some relief from the pain and distress associated with light and sound sensitivity. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help restore your comfort and quality of life.

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