When specific sounds drive a person’s emotions to the breaking point, they may be suffering from misophonia. The brain plays a big role in the interpretation of sounds, along with reactions. Strong emotional reactions to noise are a part of what makes misophonia such a crippling condition. Depending on the sound being made, a different part of the brain is stimulated. Heart rate, emotions and an entire day may still be ruined when a person prepares for known trigger sounds.
When untreated, misophonia can severely impact your quality of life. The professionals at Mario Hearing Clinics of Massachusetts are well-versed when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of misophonia.
What is misophonia?
Common sounds that are normal to most people are unusually grating to sufferers of misophonia. Usually it is noise made by others or small things that others don’t notice. A good example of these sounds are breathing, chewing, yawning, cracking knuckles and even scratching. Because of the way this affects someone with misophonia, they end up isolated, compromising daily social activities just to get away. A lot of the stress caused by the disorder comes from misunderstanding its cause and effect. Sufferers can lash out when hearing trigger sounds, making situations at work very uncomfortable. Unusual behavior from misphonia is correctly tied to what the trigger is, and how much of a tolerance was built up for it.
Research is still ongoing for misphonia, with more causes being identified. A key to the research was tying stress as one of the main motivators to the sufferers trigger noises. Along with the extra sweat and an increased heart rate, the disorder increased anger. Misphonia is more common in girls and strikes between the ages of nine to 13. It’s a lifelong condition, but is not related to the ears. Just like tinnitus, misphonia can be treated when the sufferer acknowledges the problem. Evaluations include MRI scans, and more importantly therapy or psychological counseling. There is a good chance that the scans will show a high amount of myelination, which is common with the disorder. An official misophonia organization exists, with plenty of information regarding access to misophonia clinics around the world.
More treatment options
Hearing aid devices that are used for tinnitus are usable for misophonia patients. The sound the device creates in the ear helps to counteract trigger sounds. In many ways the treatment process is similar tinnitus retraining therapy, where patients learn to manage their tinnitus and live a normal life. Coping strategies are discussed openly so that reliance on an external device is not mandatory. Despite the different treatment options for misophonia, they all have the same common goal.