Misophonia: Understanding Your Treatment Options

Misophonia: Understanding Your Treatment Options

Adjusting to life with a hearing disorder isn’t easy. 

However, it’s especially challenging when you have an adverse reaction to everyday sounds, like someone tapping their fingers or chewing. After all, these sounds can be impossible to avoid and trigger a panic or rage that seems impossible to control.

That condition is known as misophonia

Unlike a general sensitivity to sound, this hearing disorder causes an uncontrollable, emotional reaction to a sound that others barely notice. Unfortunately, people often turn to treatment options that worsen the condition instead of improve it. 

That’s where Kevin Sharim and the audiology team at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals can help. We provide expert hearing services at four different locations in California: Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Tarzana, and Santa Monica. 

If you have misophonia, here’s what you should know about your treatment options and why you should pursue professional care.

Why you should seek treatment for misophonia

People with misophonia can get triggered by different sounds. 

For some, it might be noises associated with eating or drinking — like smacking lips, slurping, or crunching — or those associated with breathing. Others can have an adverse reaction to things like mouth and throat noises, the sound of eating utensils, the ticking of a watch, or the rustling of paper or plastic.

While the triggers may vary, what people with misophonia share is the emotional, physical, and behavioral reactions these sounds cause. In some cases, these responses can be so intense a person can’t even control them.

As you might suspect, the natural tendency for coping with this hearing disorder is avoidance. While this approach may seem tempting, it can increase your sensitivity to the triggering sound — and turn more noises into triggers.

Instead, our team offers treatment strategies designed to help people cope and adapt to this condition. These approaches can ensure this unpleasant and challenging disorder doesn’t disrupt your life.

Treatment options for misophonia

If you’ve been hunkering down at home alone or using earplugs to hide sounds, it’s time to rethink your approach. Our team often recommends adding or modifying sound to change your response to your trigger.

Retraining therapy

This form of sound therapy treatment helps desensitize a person to their trigger sound. The process is gradual and works by creating positive associations with noises that trigger a negative response in a controlled manner.

Behavioral treatments

Along with retraining therapies, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy can do wonders with misophonia management. The goal of these approaches is helping the individual understand the reaction to the sound and develop coping strategies to manage them.

In some cases, people with misophonia can even benefit from learning simple relaxation techniques so they can activate the relaxation response with regular practice.

White noise devices

Unlike silencing your environment, a white noise device can add additional sounds to make your triggers less intrusive.

There are a wide range of white noise devices, including custom earmolds that stream pleasant or masking sounds directly into your ear.

In some instances, our team can include noise-canceling devices. However, these should only be used under our supervision to avoid lowering your tolerance to even more sounds.

Getting help for misophonia

The most important thing is to make an appointment if you have a sensitivity to sound, especially if it causes an uncontrollable, negative reaction.

Our team can determine what’s behind your hearing issues and develop a personalized strategy to manage your symptoms. But it all starts with an audiology assessment.

Could you have misophonia? Contact Sharp Hearing Care Professionals to schedule a consultation at the office nearest you by calling or booking online today.

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