Sensory issues can often be extremely difficult to handle. Yet, there are ways to lessen or neutralize the sensitivity caused by them.
Loud Mind: Sensory issues can often be harrowing. Many people often experience them. These include autistic people like myself and people with ADHD. There are many ways to manage them, though.
Sensory Issue #1: Auditory Sensitivity
Sound is one of the primary stimuli to which I am sensitive. It usually presents itself as not having a filter for noise. I hear most things around me at the same level. As a result, I have to ask people to repeat their comments. A lot! In the past, this has led people to think I’m not listening.
I also realized recently how this had affected my hearing ability. I’ve always had some problems with hearing people talking. I even had my hearing checked at one point. Yet, the opposite of what was expected was true the whole time. I hear too much, not too little.
I manage this through many methods. The most obvious is just to avoid people. I do not go to outside events very often. This lets me avoid crowds, which are a nightmare on my ears. Avoidance can keep me sane.
Because of sound sensitivity, I usually keep headphones near me. The noise-canceling variety allows me to block out the ambient noise with a double purpose – music has a calming effect on me. As such, it will enable me to process my emotions and senses.
Sensory Issue #2: Light Sensitivity
Light is the second of my two main sensory stumbling blocks. In this case, I have many problems with brightness. I also have issues with certain kinds of lighting and complications with contrast.
The types of lights I don’t like are universal. One example is fluorescent lighting. Although the least severe type for me, it can still trigger headaches if I am around them too long. Some of these can even turn into migraines.
The more significant sensitivity for me is blue light. Unfortunately, blue light is everywhere. This makes it almost impossible to avoid. Instead, I have to make sure to limit it in other ways.
Dealing with brightness is simple. I generally have my phone’s light as low as possible. I also use dim bulbs in my room. This has the bonus of solving my issue with fluorescent bulbs.
Turning on the blue light filter on my phone helps. I also use blue-filtering night sunglasses. They often help with fluorescence too. Sometimes I will even wear them indoors on bad days.
Sensory Issue #3: Tactile Sensitivity
“. . . Sometimes being touched feels like toothpicks pricking my skin.”Farnan, K. (2018, June 27). How Being Autistic Makes Me Sensitive to Touch. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
Another sensitivity of mine is touch. I dislike certain fabrics. In particular, cotton and polyester. This is also made worse by extreme heat. It also shows through my general aversion to physical contact.
Touch is harder to manage than the others as it requires me to go out of my way to avoid my trigger materials. It also helps to wear looser clothing to keep it from rubbing against my skin.
Not liking physical contact is different. This contact mostly comes from people with whom I am close. This means that I often have no choice but to put up with it. There are times, though, when I can’t deal with it. Some won’t, but most people will understand if I tell them why.
3 Weirder Sensory Issues
The three already mentioned are my main sensory issues. Yet, they are not all of them. Some of these others can get very strange. To some, these may not be even considered senses.
- Air pressure is a variable that can be telling. There are always fluctuations before weather events. I usually get headaches before storms from the pressure dropping. If it’s terrible, I may even feel nauseous. I handle this with pain medication
- The sense of balance is another with which I am not great. I have been somewhat of a klutz my entire life. I have walked into walls and doors. I have tripped over my own feet before. I also tend to drift when I walk. Not much can be done except to watch your surroundings
- My reactions to temperature seem to have gone haywire. I used to be okay with wearing a jacket in Texan summers. Now I get overheated easily. I also have an extreme sensitivity to cold. The only option here is to remember to check the weather before going outside
This has not been a complete list. There may even be some that I never noticed. They can come together to make life hard. There are ways to work around these problems. I would never change myself to get rid of these.
Do you have sensory sensitivities you would like to discuss? Please share them in the comments section below.