- Exploding head syndrome
Exploding head syndrome is a condition that causes the sufferer to occasionally experience a tremendously loud noise as originating from within his or her own head, usually described as the sound of an
explosion, roar, waves crashing against rocks, loud voices, or a ringing noise.
This noise usually occurs within an hour or two of falling asleep, but is not the result of a
dreamand can happen while awake as well. Perceived as extremely loud, the sound is usually not accompanied by pain. Attacks appear to change in frequency over time, with several attacks occurring in a space of days or weeks followed by months of remission. Sufferers often feel a sense of fearand anxietyafter an attack, accompanied by elevated heartrate. Attacks are also often accompanied by perceived flashes of light(when perceived on their own, known as a "visual sleep start") or difficulty in breathing. The condition is also known as "auditory sleep starts." It is not thought to be dangerous, although it is sometimes distressing to experience.
The cause of the exploding head syndrome is not known, though some physicians have reported a correlation with stress or extreme fatigue. The condition may develop at any time during life and women are slightly more likely to suffer from it than men. Attacks can be one-time events, or can recur.
The mechanism is also not known, though possibilities have been suggested; one is that it may be the result of a sudden movement of a
middle earcomponent or of the eustachian tube, another is that it may be the result of a form of minor seizurein the temporal lobewhere the nervecells for hearing are located. Electroencephalograms recorded during actual attacks show unusual activity only in some sufferers, and have ruled out epileptic seizures as a cause.cite journal| journal=Sleep| year=1991| month=Jun| volume=14| issue=3| pages=263–6| title=The exploding head syndrome: polysomnographic recordings and therapeutic suggestions| last=Sachs| first=C| coauthors=Svanborg E.| pmid=1896728]
A report by a British physician in 1988 might be the first description of exploding head syndrome: cite journal| journal=Lancet| year=1988| month=Jul 30| volume=2| issue=8605| pages=270–1| title=Exploding head syndrome| last= Pearce| first=JM| pmid=2899248| doi=10.1016/S0140-6736(88)92551-2]
Symptoms may be resolved spontaneously over time. It may be helpful to reassure the patient that this symptom is harmless.
Clomipraminehas been used in three patients, who experienced immediate relief from this condition.
* [http://jnnp.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/abstract/52/7/907 Medical Journal Entry on Syndrome]
* [http://www.sleepeducation.com/Disorder.aspx?id=33 Article on Syndrome]
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Search&db=PubMed&term=exploding+head+syndrome&tool=QuerySuggestion Pub Med list of Medical Articles on Exploding Head Syndrome]
* [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exploding-head-syndrome/AN00929 Mayo Clinic information on Exploding Head Syndrome]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
exploding head syndrome — Also known as auditory sleep start. The term exploding head syndrome was introduced in or shortly before 1988 by the British neurologist John M.S. Pearce (b. 1936) to denote an abrupt and exceptionally loud akoasm (i.e. a nonverbal auditory… … Dictionary of Hallucinations
exploding head syndrome — a rare, benign disturbance of the transition between waking and sleeping in which the person is aroused by the sensation of a loud explosion in the head, sometimes accompanied by flashing lights … Medical dictionary
Delayed sleep phase syndrome — Classification and external resources ICD 10 G47.2 ICD 9 327.31 … Wikipedia
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome — Classification and external resources Obesity hypoventilation syndrome often improves with positive airway pressure treatment administered overnight by a machine such as this device ICD 10 … Wikipedia
Non-24-hour sleep-wake syndrome — Classification and external resources ICD 10 G47.2 ICD 9 327.34 … Wikipedia
Night eating syndrome — Night eating syndrome, or NES, is an emerging eating disorder diagnosis, which primarily characterizes an ongoing, persistent pattern of late night binge eating. NES was originally described by Dr Albert Stunkard in 1955 and is currently … Wikipedia
Sleep disorder — Classification and external resources ICD 10 F51, G47 ICD 9 … Wikipedia
Sleep apnea — Classification and external resources Obstructive sleep apnea ICD 10 G … Wikipedia
Pillow — For other uses, see Pillow (disambiguation). Pillows piled on the corner of a bed A pillow is a large cushion support for the head, usually used while sleeping in a bed, or for the body as used on a couch or chair. There are also throw pillows… … Wikipedia
Narcolepsy — For other uses, see Narcolepsy (disambiguation). Narcolepsy Classification and external resources ICD 10 G47.4 ICD 9 … Wikipedia