Sensory overload: Symptoms, causes, and treatment

Sensory overload is the overstimulation of one or more of the body’s five senses, which are touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste.

Sensory overload can affect anyone, but it commonly occurs in those with autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sensory processing disorder, and certain other conditions.

Keep reading to learn more about sensory overload, including the symptoms, causes, and potential treatments.

Common symptoms include:

  • inability to ignore loud sounds, strong smells, or other types of sensory input
  • a sense of discomfort
  • anxiety and fear
  • extreme sensitivity to clothing or other textures
  • feeling overwhelmed or agitated
  • irritability
  • loss of focus
  • restlessness
  • stress