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Cephalalgia. 1998 Jun;18(5):243-9.

Phonophobia in migraine.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Trondheim, Norway.


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.

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