Exploding head syndrome
Exploding head syndrome is a condition in which a person perceives loud, imaginary noises or an explosive feeling when falling asleep or waking up. In addition to noise, some people report fear and seeing flashes of light. It is classified as a parasomnia in the 2005 International Classification of Sleep Disorders, and is an unusual type of auditory hallucination in that it occurs in people who are not fully awake. Neither the cause nor the mechanism of exploding head syndrome is known. As of 2015, there had not been sufficient studies conducted to make clear statements about prevalence, nor who tends to suffer EHS.
As of 2014, no clinical trials had been conducted to determine what treatments are safe and effective; a few case reports had been published describing treatment of small numbers of people (two to twelve per report) with clomipramine, flunarizine, nifedipine, topiramate, carbamazepine, or simply education and reassurance.
Case reports have been published at least since 1876, when Silas Weir Mitchell described "sensory discharges" in a patient. The phrase "exploding head syndrome" was coined in a 1920 report by the Welsh physician and psychiatrist Robert Armstrong-Jones. A detailed description of the syndrome was given by British neurologist John M. S. Pearce in 1989.
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- Thorpy MJ, Plazzi G (2010). The Parasomnias and Other Sleep-Related Movement Disorders. Cambridge University Press. p. 231. ISBN 0-521-11157-9. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
- American Academy of Sleep Medicine article on the syndrome.
- Loud crash at 3 a.m.? It may be your exploding head.
- Møller, Aage R.; Langguth, Berthold; DeRidder, Dirk; Kleinjung, Tobias (2010-11-16). Textbook of Tinnitus. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781607611455.