Have you ever experienced a sound that just seemed to drive you crazy?
Nails screeching on a chalkboard is a common noise that is irritating to many people. Maybe you get bothered by sounds that other people don’t even notice. Perhaps you have sensitive hearing, a common issue that can be very disruptive and have a big impact on your everyday life.
Some people experience much more severe reactions to some sounds than the average person. If you are frequently experiencing a strong negative reaction to sounds, you may have misophonia.
Misophonia is a strong emotional response to one or more specific sounds. People with misophonia are affected emotionally by common sounds – usually sounds made by others that most people do not pay attention to. Examples could be someone else’s chewing, slurping on a drink, or even the breathing of a person nearby. A click-click-click noise you hear may also strongly affect you.
Those noises often create a fight-or-flight response in a person with misophonia. Responses can vary between people and a person’s reaction can change depending on the sound. Some sounds that commonly cause a reaction are clicks, taps, and crunches, however, different people react to different sounds. This all shows that each person can have a very individualized experience.
Misophonia does not cause an unusual activation of the auditory system. Instead, many people associate their trigger sounds with a past experience, resulting in an emotional response. A study showed that the parts of the brain associated with long-term memories, fear, and other emotions were activated when exposed to trigger sounds.
Hearing aids can help manage misophonia in some cases, by allowing the user to hear sounds on a more even and natural level. Sound therapy settings in some hearing aids can also play pleasant and soothing tones for the hearing aid wearer. Oftentimes therapy is needed to re-train the brain and responses to unpleasing sounds.
The first step is getting a hearing evaluation. A trained professional can rule out other hearing problems and get you on the path to a better hearing experience. Even if you think you may not have a hearing loss, a baseline hearing test can go a long way in your overall hearing healthcare. Hear Now offers a variety of hearing healthcare products and services, including hearing aids and hearing protection.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.