Sensory Overload

Status
Not open for further replies.

LSARIOL

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
11/2016
Country
US
State
Michigan
City
Chesterfield
Can any PALS explain to me what the sensory overload feels like? My sister only blink yes, no and maybe now. She cannot use her computer any longer as her one hand she had use of is no longer working. The senses she has, she had previously explained are hyper sensitive. So in a room full of noisy family it causes her anxiety. I want to be able to explain this to friends and family so that they can understand that smaller groups and lower voices makes things easier for her. I honestly don't understand it myself and she can no longer explain. She does have the computer that will do eye gaze but she is resistant and I/we do not push. If anyone can explain, I would greatly appreciate it!
 

lgelb

Forum Supporter
Moderator
Joined
Nov 5, 2009
Messages
8,334
Reason
Lost a loved one
Diagnosis
00/0000
Country
US
State
WA
City
Seattle
There are a lot of individual circumstances that go into that answer. I would explain it to them as it takes a lot of energy to even blink and stay awake (ALS affects metabolism) so the energy that you expend in processing stimuli and information without thinking about it is going to the very basics for her. Does that make sense?

When you have a bad headache, you want to lie down and rest because you are fighting the pain and it's exhausting. She is fighting for her energy full-time.

Best,
Laurie
 

LSARIOL

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
11/2016
Country
US
State
Michigan
City
Chesterfield
Yes, thank you for your explanation.
 

KimT

Forum Supporter
Extremely helpful member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
3,775
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
08/2015
Country
US
State
South
City
The Beach
Also, beware of fragrances. I am very sensitive to fragrances and other strong odors. I don't allow anyone with perfume or cologne in my condo. Sometimes one doesn't realize the negative impact of scents until they end up exhausted or get a migraine.
 

Firefighter58

Senior member
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
568
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2014
Country
CA
State
ON
City
Oakville
I to am sensitive to loud noises, if my wife drops anything I become very sensitive for ten or fifteen minutes. I am not sensitive to smells though I do smell things that no one else smells, mostly sweet smells such as candy or chocolate where there is none and no one else smells it. It can be alarming though I sometimes smell smoke when there is none.
Al
 

LSARIOL

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reason
Loved one DX
Diagnosis
11/2016
Country
US
State
Michigan
City
Chesterfield
Thank you for your posts. My sister had us changed her laundry detergent due to the smell. We teased her about how spoiled she was!! :)
 

Jhettinger

Forum Supporter
Distinguished member
Joined
Sep 22, 2016
Messages
106
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
4/2016
Country
US
State
GA
City
Roswell
just started smelling cigarette smoke and musty odor. mmm?
 

KimT

Forum Supporter
Extremely helpful member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
3,775
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
08/2015
Country
US
State
South
City
The Beach
I believe I've suffered from sensory overload for a long time before ALS. At first I developed a lack of tolerance to fragrances, even natural ones. That happened after Florida had severe fires in 1998. It caused me to become very ill. After my car accident in 2000, I developed hyperacusis which is a highly debilitating hearing disorder characterized by an increased sensitivity to certain frequencies and volume ranges of sound (a collapsed tolerance to usual environmental sound). I was also experiencing dizziness and ended up at University of Pittsburgh where I was diagnosed with migraine associated vertigo and a damaged vestibular system. I don't care for any sort of background noise such as music or television when I'm on the computer or having a conversation. Sometimes, when more than one person talks at the same time, it seems to scramble my brain.

I suffered all this while working and I had to desensitize myself by going into noisy places.

Now I have very acute hearing and can hear conversations across the room. When I play cards in a group of six or seven tables, it presents a challenge. I cannot play with someone wearing perfume or someone who smokes. Both perfume and smoke linger on people and permeate their clothes. They cannot smell it themselves but it tightens my throat.

I've been using fragrance-free products for twenty years. I'm seeing many hotels going fragrance free. My primary care physician has a sign on her outside door that prohibits anyone wearing a fragrance to enter.
 

Trixie80

Distinguished member
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
110
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
03/2014
Country
CA
State
BC
City
Abbotsford
There are a lot of individual circumstances that go into that answer. I would explain it to them as it takes a lot of energy to even blink and stay awake (ALS affects metabolism) so the energy that you expend in processing stimuli and information without thinking about it is going to the very basics for her. Does that make sense?

When you have a bad headache, you want to lie down and rest because you are fighting the pain and it's exhausting. She is fighting for her energy full-time.

Best,
Laurie
wow laurie, that is a great explanation,
 

Dee Dee 0617

Distinguished member
Joined
Nov 27, 2019
Messages
124
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
11/2016
Country
US
State
MI
City
Escanaba
I to am sensitive to loud noises, if my wife drops anything I become very sensitive for ten or fifteen minutes. I am not sensitive to smells though I do smell things that no one else smells, mostly sweet smells such as candy or chocolate where there is none and no one else smells it. It can be alarming though I sometimes smell smoke when there is none.
Al
Thank God for you taking the time to post this. I was loosing it, and when the it you have left isn't much that becomes vitally important. I smell roasted peppers, or bananas. You get strange looks from your home health aide. Thank you. Thank you.
 

nona

Distinguished member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
319
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
02/2015
Country
US
State
NH
City
NEW LONDON
I too have sensory overload. Competing noises and conversations drive me crazy, especially when people expect me to speak over the volume level. Perfume and certain food smells are tough, and lately I've been having a harder time with body odors from my caregivers : bad breath, maybe a dirty sweater, foot odor. These things never used to bother me much but now...
 

swalker

Very helpful member
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
1,188
Reason
DX MND
Diagnosis
07/2014
Country
US
State
CO
City
Vail
Count me among those that have sensory overload. I thought maybe it was just me.

Some things are to be expected. With my respiratory issues, I find cigarette smoke to be beyond annoying. Perfumes drive me up a wall. I don't care for the smell of scented lotions at all. But, others are unexpected. Multiple simultaneous conversations really bother me, for example.

By sensory overload, I don't mean to imply these things are simply offensive. They are way beyond that. My body reacts in a way I cannot seem to control. It is extremely irritating, grating, and unpleasant.

I suspect that there is an element of surprise involved. If I know an assault to my senses is coming, I can prepare for it. If the assault arrives unexpectedly, I am taken aback by it.

I am also very sensitive to temperature. If it is "cold" (below about 70 degrees F), it takes far for my senses to become overloaded.

Steve
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top