What is Misophonia?
Misophonia is a recent term meaning a serious dislike or hatred of sounds. It is also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome (4S) and is applied to those who hearing particular sounds will be triggered to show high levels of emotional or physiological distress, such as irritability, anger, disgust or avoidance of those sounds.
Sufferers may try to deal with the situation by asking for the sound to be stopped or leaving or avoiding the place or people causing the sounds. Such responses may be seen as unreasonable to others and can have severe effects on employment, study, hobbies, social activities and relationship with friends and family.
Misophonia is often associated with mouth and nasal sounds such as eating, drinking, chewing, slurping, lip smacking, breathing or sniffing for example but can be a negative reaction to any sound with a specific pattern and meaning to a given individual.
It is also possible that misophonia might be just one feature of a broader pattern of sensory intolerance and although sounds are normally the most distressing, images and silent videos of eating and chewing can also act as triggers.
Sufferers of misophonia often show a heightened sense of interoception (perception of ones internal body state) but currently there is no agreement in medical circles about the cause.
Misophonia often appears in the early teenage years and appears to be more common amongst girls than boys. The condition is real and causes difficulties for both the sufferer and their family.
Can Misophonia be Helped?
The sounds that cause the problem may not necessarily be particularly loud although the sufferer may have some excessive sound sensitivity (hyperacusis) on some frequencies or have a fear of certain sounds (phonophobia) such as the toilet flushing or the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Misophonia may also occur with other sensory intolerances or diagnostic labels. Although Misophonia is distinct from these other disorders there is some overlap in symptoms and an individual may suffer from more than one condition.
We have worked with a number of clients experiencing misophonia and helped them to improve their auditory processing with Auditory Integration Training (AIT) and also Lightwave Stimulation (LWS) which influences emotional control via the autonomic nervous system.
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