Fluorescent Lighting vs Noise & Crowds

Hi Everyone,

I noticed numerous times where folks here on the forum speak how Flourescent Lighting really does them in and i can’t with all honestly say it bothers me that much. But what really gets me good are crowded stores or very noisy situations…babies crying, small children screaming or even noisy adults in a department store. Too much Stimulation really escalates my symptoms.

So my question to ALL of you, what bothers you most Flourescent Lighting or Noise/Crowds?

Hope to hear from some of you.


Hey Joe,
I have always had an overly big reaction to loud and annoying sounds. IF there was a baby crying it would make my skin crawl. Someone jingling change in their pockets, or rattling candy wrappers in the movies makes me want to strangle
them. I don’t get dizzier per se, but I def have issues with it. Hypersensitivity…which shows up all over the place.

I was at the mall today looking for a tie, and picked up a striped one that was hard to look at, since stripes and patterns can be annoying visually. My Mom says, “Gee, I can hardly look at those stripes”. NOw keep in mind, this is the first
time she’s ever said anything about being visually affected by anything like that. Since this is genetic, I’ve been wondering where the heck it came from. She has always been motion sensitive, hates rides of any sort, wont get on a boat,
and has a very low tolerance to alcohol (as I do)…I think it’s starting to make more sense as to where I got this junk! I should have kicked her in the shin right there and then. :slight_smile:
Lighting bothers me…I wear baseball style caps a lot as it shields my eyes from overhead lighting. Grocery stores with loads of products, the gym, and anyplace really “Busy” can set off my visual stuff. But I have it 24/7 anyway…sometimes
it’s just more bothersome.

Noise and crowds every time. Small children doing anything just about get me going but the screaming is the worst :lol: Haven’t noticed an issue with fluro lights but to be honest I don’t encounter them much (rarely shop at big centres and work from home). Like Kelley the grocery store or busy visual places are a nightmare on a bad day - I get totally spaced out.

Kelley it’s never too late to kick your mum :lol:

Hi Joe.
I have Phonophobia, so during and just after a migraine, my hearing becomes intensely sharp.
An unexpected noise can make me jump no matter how small.
Sometimes I can’t stand the sound of my own whisper, imagine someone running their fingernails down a blackboard… That’s how it feels.
It’s like it invades all parts of my body.
As far as I know Phonophobia IS Aura.


Hi Joe,

I can relate to most of what you are all saying, crowds and noise i avoid best i can, as you know i have 4 kids tho much past the baby stage now, if i encounter any loud noise while im out i stick my fingers in my ears, i dont care if i look silly, i know i will suffer if i dont, crying babies bless them, screaming kids, boisterous adults, i hate balloons at parties or when they are given to kids to pacify them out shopping, police etc sirens, workmen digging up the road…they have ear defenders, give them wide berth. This is what happened to me recently regarding loud noise, ive wondered if it triggered this increase, i was at a town show my eldest pestered me to attend with her, i did, they had all sorts of nerve provoking machinery that could blast at any moment, most of the day none of these machines sounded the hooter or whatever you call them i thought i was safe then just as i was feet away from a fire engine a kiddie set off the siren…well if the loudness is not enough it was the feeling in my head that nearly threw me to the ground, my daughter was holding my arm, i thought i would pass out and not by the shock alone, extremely stressful and not a thing i could do about it. Noise crowds and lighting 4 me depending.

Visual stimuli affect me pretty much all the time - flickering lights, ceiling fans, shimmery patterns etc. They all make me feel queasy and uncomfortable. If I’m more symptomatic I’ll also be affected by noise - not so much the volume as the ‘surprise’ factor. If I hear an unexpected noise I jump and get a surge of adrenaline.


Joe – I didn’t realise it until a few months ago but fluoro lights set me off. It takes a while for the effect to build up but it does hit. I moved to an area of the office without lights – just sunlight – and I am much better and less likely to have the afternoon headaches now. Sound irritates me if I’m symptomatic only. I’ve never been good with loud noises though. Even as a kid, it would freak me out whereas my brothers didn’t give a hoot.

I was just remembering a time when I would go to my Father’s house (divorced parents) to visit, and he had young children from a new marriage. I would get the “Hey Kelley! WAtch me! Watch this!” stuff over and over while they played with
toys that can only have been manufactured to annoy parents! Everything was all over the floor, noises were loud and non stop…the whole energy was high frequency and annoying. I didn’t realize at the time it was really bothering me. EVERY time I would end up in bed with a bad stomach ache…stomach migraine? It was terrible, but I never put the pieces together…Not to sound bad I hope, but I decided at a young age I didn’t want to have children. Everyone thought I would change my mind, but I never did. Being around kids makes me very uncomfortable…I think having heightened sensitivity makes all the running, yelling and crying ten fold worse for a migraineur. I’m very caring by nature, and love animals, especially when they are quiet. LOL

Strange to think this could have all been part of the chemistry…?

Old style florescent lamps really get to me. For some reason the squiggly lamps do not. I am not bothered by crowds but long hallways, especially with patterned carpet, tend to get to me. One of our local hospitals has carpeting that drives me up a wall, I actually have to make an effort not to look down when walking their halls. Noise? interesting, never thought of it as a trigger but I really like quiet while my wife always has to have something making noise. I will often go to another room and close the door to shut out the tv or music, could be, hmmmmm.

I’m bothered by both but in different ways. Bright lights, flourescent or any other, affect me very much and flickering lights are the absolute worst. While so far, knock on wood, neither bright or flickering has triggered a vertigo attack, both make me extremely carsick feeling, especially the bright. During most of my vertigo attacks I have been very photophobic and unable to tolerate light at all (which leads towards an MAV diagnosis).

Noise bothers me but not in the same direction as feeling dizzy or motion sick. Mostly it makes me feel like I am losing my mind and need to get to a quiet place fast. It upsets my entire emotional system. Plus it gives me a headache.


Kenny, older fluorescents tended to flicker much more slowly, ergo borderline-visibly.

I tend to be bothered by stimulation, if I’m in a vulnerable mode. Bright light can be enough, not only our friend flicker. And aural stimulation does not necessarily need to be classically noise. I was driving to and then from a memorial service Saturday, wearing earplugs to cut down 5 hours of road noise exposure, playing either a relatively interesting talk show or else a classical music station. Either one set my teeth on edge, by which I mean the mild headache that for me can be the first step toward MAV narsties, if I don’t ameliorate the stressors.

Wow! Thanks to all of you for sharing your honest opinions on this issue. Seems like many of you do have issues with lighting. But there was a number of you who like myself have difficults with noise…screaming children, etc. There have been a couple of times that certain patterns can be a little bothersome.

I went to the gym today and walked into the locker room and there must have been 8-10 screaming 10-12 year olds…it was really wigging me out. I told them in a polite way if they would bring down there voice and they did…thank god! If there is too much stimula…i just get very uncomfortable and very anxious.

Thanks again…


Both here- lighting and noisy crowded places… and I have 3 little children at home. Uggg. They are so precious but so LOUD!

Hi Joe, I was chatting with my mum yesterday, she told me she prefers Dad to do the shopping ,
becuase after 5 minutes of enting the woolworths she starts to feel light headed and off ,then has to rush to the toilet , as she gets a funny feeling in her tummy.
Interesting to me as she normally only suffers facial migraine.
she said she believes it’s the fluro lights. hmmm?


When you say your mom has to rush to the toilet is it cause she really has to go or she feels panic building? I’ve had to excuse myself from co-workers in the past and get to the toilet just to calm down.


I used to walk the dogs as a volunteer at the local rescue centre, the noise of all the dogs barking at once made my ears do queer things, pop and bang, it was awful (the staff wore ear protectors, so it wasnt brilliant for them either) but it really worried me the way my ears behaved, not normal at all.

I dont like bonfire night either, not with the loud noise the fireworks make nowadays. This is more of an adrenaline thing, I jump out of my skin when one goes off.

Other loud noises make my ears pulsate, like, keep popping continuously.

Dont like airport carpets, my friends dotty wallpaper, stripes, swirly patterns. Hate watching roundabouts, anything moving round on the tv, large department stores, the worse of course is large Tesco, really big so you have to scan continously to find stuff, gets me exhausted really quickly. Thats just for starters!


Christine…you reminded me how much i dislike Large Airports like the LA International…OMG, i hate going to that airport with all the people and pushy crowds, etc, etc. The smaller airports are more manageable. Many people in a room all talking and being noisy with kids screaming drives up batty and can bring on lots of anxiety and panic. This condition really sucks! Prior to this illness crowds never bothered me.


Fluorescent lighting definitely bothers me. Even though I have felt so much better the past year, those lights are one of my only big triggers left. I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that I will simply never be able to work in an office building, at least not without losing my sanity. I’m due in February with a baby, and one of my main bullet points in our hospital “birth plan” will be that those lights in our room must be off!

Cassada…we have florescent lighting in the kitchen and it doesn’t bother me. But being in a room with extremely noisy adults and or screaming children and it really bothers me. I’m also uncomfortable in places with extreme crowds particularly around the holidays at the Mall. So i go to the mall at off-time hours cause the crowds really increase my symptoms. I still can’t figure out why Florescent lighting doesn’t bother me but it just doesn’t.


Hey Joe,
I guess it’s like any trigger…someone can eat cheese…no problem…another eats it. PROBLEM!! :slight_smile: My issues are visual…hearing and smell doesn’t bother me. There are others who can’t stand any strong smells at all…we are all just
different, yet very similar in the fact that we don’t react “normally” to what others handle no problem. Sounds kind of like alleries? ONe person eats a shrimp…yum! Another…they blow up like a balloon. I doubt we’ll never truly understand it
but the saying “Know Thyself” really comes in handly when we’re stuck with this.