After Dad's stroke he became sensitive to light and sound, is there treatment for this?

Stella2005 asked...

My father had a ischemic stroke in the summer of 2005.He was left completely paralyzed on his left side, but with one year of therapy he was able to walk again but never regain the usage of his left hand and arm.

My question is that since last year, he has all of a sudden develop a strong sensitivity to lights and noise. He needs to wear ear plugs everywhere but still complains that it is too loud. I'm really sad to see him so mad and helpless all the time. Any advice or help would be much appreciated. Are their any treatment available to help him?

Thanks so much!

Expert Answer

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

It sounds like he might be suffering from meningeal irritation, or migrainous symptoms. These cause "photophobia" and "phonophobia" - in other words, aversion to light and sound. This may be a result of his stroke. I would talk to his doctor about trying some anti-migraine medication (not acute therapy medicines but preventative medications). These would include such things as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, pregabalin, gabapentin, or topiramate. He may get very good relief from one of these medications. His doctor, knowing his previous medical history, would have a better sense if one of these is safer for him then the others.

I hope that helps. All the best, and good luck!