Is Sensory Overload Part of Your Fibro?
You expect to have painful muscles everywhere with fibromyalgia. Even if your discomfort fluctuates from day to day, this symptom is always present. The pain of fibro is amplified as though the volume control knob is turned up as high as it could go. But there is much more to fibromyalgia than just the pain. Chances are, you have other sensory-related symptoms that are roaring off the charts and making your fibro all the more difficult to manage.
Take, for example, the sensory-related symptoms below. Most patients with fibromyalgia will recognize them as an added source of annoyance.
- numbness and tingling sensations in your extremities
- swelling sensations—feeling as though one's limbs are made out of gelatin
- burning skin—just like a bad sunburn, despite no redness or visible rash
- sensitivity to loud sounds (you are always asking family members to turn down the volume)
- odors bother you much more than they do everyone else (your sense of smell is heightened)
- bright lights bother you, maybe even contributing to your headache, especially if you are walking in a colorfully lit shopping mall
- dry, burning eyes—sometimes they hurt so badly, they burn, but your doctor can't find anything wrong with them and has ruled out medication side effects