Why are some sounds so irritating?

Have you ever heard a sound that you find annoying, or one that made you afraid, or one that just plain made you angry? Have you ever wondered why a sound could provoke such a strong reaction when other people don’t seem bothered at all? What you are experiencing is called misophonia.

What is misophonia?

Misophonia is when common sounds – anything from yawning to chewing to humming refrigerators – trigger a strong fight-or-flight response. In some cases, people also respond to related visual stimuli.

What are the signs of misophonia?

People with this reaction can have mild symptoms such as anxiety, discomfort, disgust, and the urge to run away. However, much stronger responses, including rage, hate, panic, fear, and distress have been noted, too.

What causes misophonia?

The cause of misophonia is currently unknown, but some doctors believe it may be related to anything from tinnitus to obsessive-compulsive disorder to autism, and that it’s a mental issue, not an auditory one.

Can misophonia be treated?

There is currently no treatment, so avoidance techniques, stress management, and coping strategies are recommended.

Audiology at CEENTA

If you have any concerns about your hearing, schedule an appointment with a CEENTA audiologist. They can test your hearing and, if necessary, fit you with hearing aids best suited for your lifestyle so you can hear all the sounds you love most.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. You can schedule an appointment with any of our audiologists in North and South Carolina through myCEENTAchart or by calling 704-295-3300.


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