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Loud noise causing weeks-long flare?

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Nov 11th I went to my local Remembrance Day ceremony..  I had missed several years due to covid so I was very grateful to be there, but completely forgot that there would be cannonfire.. the first one startled me badly, the 2nd one I braced myself for but I was still startled..  I must mention that prior to going to the ceremony I had gone to work and worked 3 solid hours and I was FINE! (I'm a cleaner) Not one palpitation, nothing. I then went to a very crowded indoor market packed with people, then went to the ceremony. 

So after walking home, about a half hour after the 2 cannonfire, I began having terrible palpitations and tachycardia. Later that afternoon after enduring this for a few hours I phoned an ambulance, they hooked me to an EKG and said slight sinus arrythymia but was normal due to fluctuations in breathing, etc and nothing at all concerning, my BP was a bit high (for me) 137 over something but after lying in the ambulance it came down to 119 over something.. I did not go to the ER that day.  

This continued for several days and I began thinking I had caught covid again in the crowded market, as that was my first symptom the first time I caught it, extreme tachycardia.  I took several home tests which were negative, and a few days later went to the ER with the palpitations and they ran their own test which was negative. All blood work was normal. The EKG they said was normal. During this time my insomnia worsened which covid had also given me this. During this time I went nearly 3 days no sleep.  During covid I went up to 4 days no sleep! So I kept thinking the tests were faulty...  

During this time I saw my family doctor and showed him the EKG from the ambulance, and I believe he had the one from the ER, and he said there was nothing concerning, the slight arrythymia was due to breathing but he has ordered a Holter just to make sure nothing is going on but said he doesn't expect to find anything. He thinks it is a really bad POTS flare. (But WHY?)

Now the last couple days its dawning on me, that I think that cannonfire did something to my nervous system or my brain or something, that it startled me into a bad POTS flare up. It all started half an hour after it!  I had just worked 3 hours at my job and I was FINE! I do think that ever since covid my brain does feel super-sensitive (my doctor said the awful insomnia during covid was my brain being on high-alert for another virus) so I really think my brain just got terribly shocked by the cannons ... thing is, how to snap out of it?

I keep 'talking to my brain', saying 'its ok, the noise is gone, relax, snap out of it' etc but its not working!   And now, coming on here, I saw a page that I now cannot find that mentioned avoiding bright lights (always hate those anyway, I'm Asperger's) and loud noises, well I don't recall a loud noise triggering such a long flare up before!

Has anyone else had a 'weeks-long' flare up from a very loud noise?  If so how long did it last for you, and did anything help to alleviate it for you, or just time? 

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Hello Little Blue Jay,

11 hours ago, little_blue_jay said:

Has anyone else had a 'weeks-long' flare up from a very loud noise? 

I would answer, "Yes and No". I find your question quite interesting. I'm encouraged by the fact that you are able to manage physical work and that you are fairly active. I've had similar experiences when I'm unable to tolerate loud noises and noise actually triggers tachycardia and agitation when I'm trying really hard to be calm and relaxed. I know the feeling. However, I would say that, in my experience, I'm already close to the edge and the loud noise is merely tipping the balance and pushing me to realize that I'm closer to the edge than I realized.

I have hyperadrenergic POTS. I look at this as a symptom and not the fundamental cause. However, the hyperadrenergic part of this condition causes a lot of other problems. I would rather hike up to the top of a small mountain than stand at a Remembrance Day parade. For me, standing quietly at attention is quite taxing physically from a cardiovascular perspective. The sound of cannons would be very deeply emotional for me and could trigger a lot of agitation and tachycardia. I sometimes find that when the "flare" is happening, I need to put more effort into calming activities like rest, relaxation, hydration. I try to embrace these episodes and know that it will eventually pass and that when the flare isn't happening I will be at the top of that small mountain with a great big smile.

My greatest challenge is realizing when those flares are going to happen; understanding what might cause them; how to manage them.


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  • 2 weeks later...


So sorry for your flare. I have not noted flares from single loud noises. I do think that general noise/light/activity around me contributes to triggering flares. 

It certainly makes sense to me that it could contribute to a flare. The autonomic nervous system is certainly sensitive to sensory stimuli. 

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@little_blue_jay, I hope you are feeling a bit better.

It sounds like you had a reasonably strenuous day – working, going to a busy market, standing at the ceremony, sudden loud noises, and walking home.

Sometimes all these things can add up to feeling unwell later.

I have found that any type of shock can make my blood flow fall, although I don’t get flares like people with POTS do.

For example, the other day I was attending a hopsital outpatient appointment. I was actually feeling quite reasonable, when I suddenly found out that there was a wait of 1–3 hours that I had not been told about and wasn’t prepared for. The blood drained out of my face and I started feeling shaky and faint. It was not helped by the reception person at the clinic being snippy and unhelpful and me being on my own in the waiting room.

So yes I do think a startling loud noise could put stress on your nervous system and lead to a POTS flare. Why POTS has flares arriving sometime after the precipitating situations, I don’t know. Maybe one day we will be able to measure ANS activity and see why.

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On 12/17/2023 at 11:44 PM, Sarah Tee said:

So yes I do think a startling loud noise could put stress on your nervous system and lead to a POTS flare. Why POTS has flares arriving sometime after the precipitating situations, I don’t know. Maybe one day we will be able to measure ANS activity and see why.

Thank you for your reply.

Sorry to hear the receptionist at your appointment was snippy with you. That really doesn't help.  I hope you got through your appointment alright. 

I'm still in a bad flare up..

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@little_blue_jay, sorry to hear your flare-up is continuing.

Last week we had a thunderstorm here, and there was a loud crack of thunder right over the house. I am not scared of thinder and even quite like watching a storm (from the safety of my front room).

But this time the noise really made me jump, and my insides felt like they had turned to jelly. And although it’s not my dysautonomia symptoms, so not a flare, I have been feeling off ever since.

I hope you feel better soon.

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@little_blue_jay, sorry, I was a bit unclear. The noise made me jump, but then I got different symptoms, i.e. not autonomic ones. My usual dysautonomia symptoms stayed the same.

I don’t generally like loud non-natural noises, but we get a fair few storms here and the thunder never bothered me before, so it’s a bit of a mystery.

The symptoms I got were the ones I associate with a “nap hangover”. Have you heard of that? It is a seedy feeling some people get after napping. I get it quite badly, so can never nap.

But now it seems I got it from a loud noise instead.

Maybe it was a coincidence, I don’t know. I think it’s finally subsiding. I hope you feel better soon!

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