I expect this if we are outdoors, but he frequently pulls curtains closed & has now taken to wearing his sunglasses in the living room. (Which I tell him isn’t healthy & will only make it worse when he does go out.) He had a cataract removed in November & I talked to the doctor about it then. She said there was nothing wrong with his eyes that would cause it. He spends a lot of time in front of the tv or on the computer & also turns the volume down very low or completely off even when he seems to be watching a program. A friend suggested it might just be more sensory input than his brain can manage. He has another Neuro-Psych appointment coming up & I will ask about it then too. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts about it.
how does he do with music? it is handled in a different part of the brain and sometimes is not affected in the same way by dementia.
Sorry that his brain is showing this decline.
Many years ago, I had extensive brain surgery due to a tumor the size of an egg. Wound up with a plate in my skull, etc. Quite dramatic surgery that required a team of specialists.
For the first few months afterward, I had Sensory Overload. It was due to the nerves being severed, and also my brain being cut into and a small part of my frontal lobe having to be removed.
Here's what it was like: Everything was way too bright. Had to wear sunglasses all the time, even in the house. Sounds were too loud. The slightest sound was magnified immensely. Colors were bright and threatening to look at. (Normally I love bright colors) Bright colors were scary - almost like they were looming at me. Smells made me physically ill. I couldn't walk through a store without getting sick from the smells, and being afraid of the bright colored items falling on me from the shelves. Walking down an aisle felt like I was walking a mile, it was so tiring and scary - with all these things surrounding me. I wasn't able to talk properly for awhile, and had to relearn many words. But, could walk okay.
I realized this was temporary (for me) and that I had to work through this and eventually heal my traumatized brain. Which I did. It took longer for the staple removal to heal than it did to calm down my brain.
So, I think - this is similar to what other people may be experiencing due to brain trauma. It would be much scarier for someone with dementia who doesn't really understand what's going on.
It's kind of like scenes from Alice in Wonderland, and Twilight Zone all mixed up together. Loud, bright and scary and looming over your head with no protection.
Thanks AinSeattle for the info posted.
I bought some bulbs that were so bright I had to switch them in the 3 light fan assembly to focus on a wall and not on me. I'm going to have to start making and keeping diagrams identifying the different types of lights which work well, and those that are far too bright.
It was so much easier when they were just light bulbs. Anyone remember when we could turn in our used bulbs to the local electric company and get free new ones? That was so long ago....
It is actually common among many different ailments.
And an associated one called phonophobia.
Ice packs, eye drops, dark rooms, and anti-inflammatory medicines are needed.
It is probably some input overload as well.
Hopefully, the neurology appointment will help you understand what it is.
There is a condition called “recruitment” in hearing that causes sounds at normal volume levels to be perceived as louder than is actually being heard.
The brain can misinterpret the inputs from any of the senses, and probably even more when dementias are present.
She stuffs tissues into her ears, pulls down the shades all day, no light on whatsoever in her room. She even covers her eyes when she lays down, if I am visiting.
I am bothered by loud noises and the television volume NOW, and I am only 58. I imagine that when I get older, sensory will be even more of an issue. 🤪