When one or more of your five senses are overstimulated to the point of exhaustion, it is referred to as sensory overload. For instance, when music is too loud, a person’s hearing may get overloaded, and too-bright lights may impair their vision.


Sensory overload is when the brain is presented with more information than it can comprehend from your senses. Sometimes you could experience an overload of more than one sense at once. Typical causes of sensory overload include::

  • Auditory

If there is a lot of noise around you or if you are hearing several noises at once, your sense of hearing may become overwhelmed.

Some sounds could overstimulate you while others may cause you to have no reaction at all. When sounds are too loud, some people experience pain, while others just experience minor discomfort.

  • Touch

Simple things like the way your clothing feel or when someone touches you might be overwhelming. You might also feel uneasy due to the texture of particular materials (some individuals don’t like specific fabrics). Some individuals may even experience pain from the touch or feel of specific objects.

  • Smell

Strong scents like perfume may be overwhelming to someone with an overactive or highly sensitive sense of smell.

You are more prone than others to detect odours. If there are too many strong smells around, some people may start to feel sick. Even areas like bathrooms, kitchens, and specific retailers may put you off. Some people might not want to consume some meals because they smell bad.

  • Taste

Strong flavors or particular spices can overpower your taste buds. It’s also possible that the warmth of some foods can cause sensory overload. Your sense of taste might also be overpowered by foods that are overly hot or cold.


As a result of this overload, the following might be observed:

  • Anxiety and fear
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability or anger
  • Overexcitement
  • Muscle tension
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Extreme sweating
  • Covering the ears or eyes to block out the stimulus
  • Not wanting to be touched or approached
  • Self-harming behavior


Due to the variable nature of the condition, there aren’t many standard treatment choices for sensory overload; nonetheless, physiotherapy can help you manage your triggers. Individuals can acquire new techniques for emotion regulation to prevent negative reactions to sensory overload, and treatment can help with the underlying problems of anxiety, attention problems, depression, PTSD, OCD, and other behavioral disorders.

We at SmartSensory are focused on providing sensory solutions to you. We also offer consultation services. Contact us at (+254) 742 776 789 or through our website

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