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Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) is sometimes regarded as one of the first people to suffer from electromagnetic hyper-sensitivity when he was aged 25, in 1881:
“The peculiar malady that now affected him was never diagnosed by the doctors who attended him. It was, however, an experience that nearly cost him his life. To doctors he appeared at death’s door. The strange manifestations he exhibited attracted the attention of a renowned physician, who declared that medical science could do nothing to aid him.
One of the symptoms of the illness was an acute sensitivity of all the sense organs. His senses had always been extremely keen, but this sensitivity was now so tremendously exaggerated that the effects were a form of torture. The ticking of a watch three rooms away sounded like the beat of hammers on an anvil. The vibration of ordinary city traffic, when transmitted through a chair or bench, pounded through his body. It was necessary to place the legs of his bed on rubber pads to eliminate the vibrations. Ordinary speech sounded like thunderous pandemonium. The slightest touch had the mental effect of a tremendous blow. A beam of sunlight shining on him produced the effect of an internal explosion. In the dark he could sense an object at a distance of a dozen feet by a peculiar creepy sensation in his forehead. His whole body was constantly wracked by twitches and tremors. His pulse, he said, would vary from a few feeble throbs per minute to more than a hundred and fifty. Throughout this mysterious illness he was fighting with a powerful desire to recover his normal condition.”
O’Neill JJ: Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla (1944)
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