Phonophobia in migraine

Cephalalgia. 1998 Jun;18(5):243-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1998.1805243.x.


Quantitative measurement of sound-induced discomfort and pain thresholds showed that migraineurs (n = 65) were significantly more sensitive than headache-free controls (n = 80), both during and outside attack (p < 0.0001). Patients tested with head pain had lower thresholds than those tested without pain (p < 0.01). Migraine with and without aura did not differ as to sound sensitivity. There were no significant differences in thresholds between the symptomatic and nonsymptomatic sides (p > or = 0.78). Patients with unilateral headache or pain of pulsating character were more sensitive than those with bilateral headache or pressing pain (p < 0.05). Phonophobia did not correlate significantly with duration, frequency, or severity of attacks. The main results were in accordance with a questionnaire study concerning subjective evaluation of sound sensitivity. Similarities between phonophobia and photophobia in migraine provide evidence that both phenomena share a common pathophysiological mechanism in this condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Noise*
  • Pain Threshold