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Do certain sounds drive you crazy? You might have Misophonia

Do certain sounds drive you crazy? You might have Misophonia

By: Audiologist, Angie Lederman, MS, CCC-A

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.

What Is 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.

Treatment for Misophonia

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.

What should you do if you think you have Misophonia?

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.

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