Noise Cancelling Headphones


Noise-cancelling headphones can be helpful for people who find sensory overload affects their FND symptoms.

A pair of black over-ear headphones
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For some people with FND, sensory input can make their symptoms worse… including triggering involuntary spasms or non-epileptic seizures, affecting physical and cognitive fatigue. 

Noisy environments are quite tiring for me and at their worst can affect my cognition, speech and voluntary moment. I’ve been using Loops Experience Plus for quite awhile when I’m out and about but sometimes they aren’t quite enough. (You can read our post on Loops here)

When I’ve tried some premium over-ear headphones belonging to family/friends the air pressure was too much and the physical pressure of bone conduction on my skull gave me a headache.

A member of our local FND group, had told me about their Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700. Feeling inspired I went into a local store where I could try out working “demo” models (with limited features). For me, the top runners were the Bose 700 that had been recommended and the Sony WH-1000XM5 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones.

I ended up choosing the Sony WH-1000XM5 because the air pressure in the ears when the noise-cancelling was at maximum was less than the Bose.  There was less tension on the headband, they provide more noise-cancelling and they also have a  cool feature where you can hold one hand against the right ear cup and it temporarily turns off noise-cancelling.  So you can have a conversation, then remove your hand and the noise-cancelling turns back on.

Sadly, there was limited choice in colour: black or silver (which looks white) but there are skins available to add some colour if that is important to you.

I’ve now had a few opportunities to test them out, including a rather loud workshop and a train trip home today and they do make a big difference.

Please note: This site is created by people with FND and we do not claim to be health professionals. The resources and strategies on these pages are generously shared as by our members as things they have found useful. Please consult with your treating practitioners to make sure they are right for you before before trying them out yourself.