Misophonia

Misophonia means ‘hatred of sound’ , and although sufferers don’t hate all sounds, they do have specific sound triggers that will cause them problems. When a person with misophonia is exposed to their trigger sounds they will experience an immediate and negative emotional response. For some sufferers the response will be discomfort but reactions can range up to panic attacks and extreme rage.

What are Common Triggers?

  • Sounds associated with eating – chewing ice, gum, burping, swallowing, talking with food in mouth
  • Breathing sounds – snoring, snuffling, wheezing, sneezing, hiccups
  • Body movement sounds – blinking, tapping, finger snapping, nail biting
  • Humming, nasally voices or singing, whistling, whisper-like voices
  • Animal noises – dogs barking, crickets chirping
  • Environmental – mowers, leaf blowers, loud TV
  • Household noises – dishes or utensils clattering, plastic wrap or paper crinkling, coins rattling

Help is at Hand

Changing the environment to remove or reduce trigger sounds is the best way to help someone with misophonia. Family, friends and work colleagues can also be trained to help the sufferer manage symptoms and triggers.

People with this condition often have difficulty confiding in others. They are embarrassed or confused by their condition. Talking to others can really help alleviate misunderstandings and also help with symptom management.

People suffering misophonia are often comforted to know that they are not alone, that others also suffer this sometimes debilitating condition.

Treatment

There is no cure for misophonia, however the condition can be managed –

  • Sufferers can be trained to improve their ability to tolerate noises.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy can help change the negative thoughts experienced in response to certain sounds.
  • Background noise can be added to hearing aids to help mask or lessen trigger sounds.