Misophonia: Is It All in Your Head?

If you’ve never heard of misophonia, you’re not alone. Many people are unaware of this hearing-related condition. But even if you haven’t heard of it, you should know about it, because if you have misophonia, it can cause frustrating symptoms that can interfere with your quality of life.

Misophonia is a condition that causes people to have a strong emotional or physical reaction to certain sounds. For example, people with misophonia may become enraged when they hear the sound of someone chewing food or crumpling paper.

One of the questions that people ask about misophonia is whether it occurs in your ears, or if it’s all in your head. In fact, both are true.

Here at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, Dr. Kevin Sharim and his team of audiologists and hearing aid specialists are specially trained to diagnose and manage misophonia and many other hearing-related conditions. Read on to learn more about this puzzling condition.

Emotional reactions to sound

People with misophonia can have surprising emotional reactions to certain sounds. These reactions may include the following:

These reactions may last for hours, and they may get in the way of your daily life.

In your ears or your head?

Misophonia is triggered by sound, so you may think it’s a hearing problem. In fact, it is also a condition that plays out in your mind, because your brain interprets sounds that come in through your ears.

Although people with misophonia may have hearing problems or other auditory conditions, misophonia is not necessarily related to hearing loss.

Treating misophonia

Misophonia treatment may include a technique known as misophonia retraining therapy. With this type of therapy, you listen to pleasant sounds to reduce the effect of your trigger sounds. Over time, the reaction to trigger sounds is reduced. 

In addition, misophonia may be treated by psychologists or therapists using approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, exposure therapy, or dialectical behavior therapy. In some cases, antidepressant medications help.

Your treatment plan may also include the use of noise-canceling headphones at times when you may be exposed to your trigger sounds. And, if needed, Dr. Sharim may recommend a custom-made earmold that delivers pleasant sounds directly into your ear.

Care for all your hearing-related needs

If you suspect you have misophonia or any other hearing-related issue, we can help. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharim and our team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, contact one of our offices today. Our offices are conveniently located in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, West Hills, and Santa Monica, California.

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