Not many people have heard of exploding head syndrome. It sounds like a condition that would be as devastating as spontaneous combustion, but it is not deadly. However, it can be shocking and upsetting for those that experience what seems like a fireworks display in their head. It leaves the person confused and scared. My boyfriend recently began experiencing exploding head syndrome, and it was a shocking experience to say the least.
Experiencing a Loud Bang and a Flash of Light
About ten minutes after my boyfriend went to bed, he heard a loud snap in his head. He said that it sounded like someone cracking a large piece of wood in half. At the exact same time, he saw a flash of white light. His eyes were closed, and the room was dark. He was terrified. He did not know if he had a stroke or something equally as serious. His heart began to race, and he did not want to move.
Just seconds after experiencing the loud snap and flash of light, I quickly entered the dark bedroom. Although I could not see him, he sat up in bed. He was even more startled than he was when experiencing what we now know was an episode of exploding head syndrome. Bursting into the room shortly thereafter brought on even more anxiety.
I asked him what was wrong, and he said that he was just a little spooked. I could not imagine what he was talking about since he does not believe in anything paranormal. He did not explain what happened until the following day. Come to find out, he was not experiencing anything paranormal. He was experiencing parasomnia.
Researching the Subject
The next day I decided to look up his strange symptoms and find out what happened. I was sure that it was something that others have experienced, and I found a wealth of information right away. Others experiencing exploding head syndrome described the sound as a bang or an explosion, but it was definitely the same thing. Some notice flashes of light, but others do not. The symptoms of exploding head syndrome are not always the same for everyone, but they all have one thing in common. They are very frightening.
Exploding head syndrome is rare, and the causes are not entirely clear. Research says that it can be attributed to stress, sleep disorders or problems with the inner ear. In my boyfriend’s case, exploding head syndrome was likely caused by an eustachian tube issue. He is hard of hearing because of nerve loss, and he uses nose spray every night. If he ends up experiencing exploding head syndrome again, at least he will know that it was not a stroke or something equally as serious.
Sources: Peter Dalessandro of Lowell Indiana
Sleep Association Website