Most people have at least one sound that they find irritating or annoying. But an estimated 20% of people live with a medical condition that can make the smallest sounds downright unbearable, especially when other people make them.
This issue, known as misophonia or selective sound sensitivity syndrome, causes extreme and emotional reactions to certain sounds. In some cases, the response can even become violent.
Common misophonia sound triggers include:
Our team of audiologists at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals understands how difficult misophonia can make everyday life. We also have the expertise you need to overcome it.
Do you have an immediate, uncontrollable reaction to certain sounds? Here’s what you should know about misophonia and some tips for lifestyle adjustments that can make your life a little easier.
There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and misunderstanding surrounding misophonia. The literal translation of this Greek word is “hatred of sound.” However, that is an oversimplification of the disorder.
Misophonia causes an autonomic response in your body that you can’t control, similar to the fight-or-flight response that activates because of a threat. When this occurs, certain sounds can trigger extreme reactions, such as:
At the same time, people with misophonia also experience physical changes similar to the fight-or-flight response, including increased heartbeat, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Your reaction can be strong enough to interfere with your daily life. Unfortunately, these strong reactions also cause many people with misophonia to take great steps to avoid their sound triggers altogether, even isolating themselves socially.
While there isn’t a cure for misophonia, there are several ways to navigate the condition, including some lifestyle strategies to help you cope. Our team often recommends:
Our experienced team can also help you with an individualized treatment plan, like misophonia retraining therapy to desensitize you to your triggers. For severe cases, we could suggest custom-made assistive earmolds that stream pleasant sounds, music, or white noise directly into your ear.
If you think you have misophonia, it’s essential to work with a hearing specialist, especially when considering any hearing protection that blocks all sound. When used incorrectly, these items can alter how you perceive sound and lower your tolerance of even more sounds.
Do you have an extreme reaction to certain sounds? Contact Sharp Hearing Care Professionals to schedule an audiology consultation and learn more about your treatment options. You can call the office convenient to you or book a visit online today.