Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome
There are annoying noises that can affect the quality of life, whether it is the dripping of a faucet, the noise of a person chewing or the squeak of a chalk on the blackboard. It is completely normal to feel irritability before these sounds, but what happens if they generate panic or irrational reactions, it is said that a person suffers from misophonia when he has an evasive and intense reaction before specific sounds. It is important not to confuse this condition with hyperacusis, that is, with auditory sensitivity due to irritation in some part of the auditory pathway; in hyperacusis, auditory information is perceived as unbearably loud, while misophonia encompasses intolerance of repetitive noises or sound patterns. It is a neurological disorder in which auditory stimuli are misinterpreted by the central nervous system, causing excessive agitation and restlessness.Learn more: Misophonia, the reason why some people hate certain noisesHow to combat misophoniaWhile there is no specific treatment or cure, some tricks and therapies help to cope with the discomfort. Take into account the following.
Because some people can’t stand noise
But misophonia goes far beyond the typical ‘hyperacusis’: it consists of becoming unhinged, losing one’s nerves and even having anxiety symptoms after listening to a series of ‘everyday noises’ made by the people around the sufferer.
The range of sounds that can exasperate a misophone is very wide, but the most common are the slurping with a straw, chewing gum, the one produced by typing on a computer, the one produced by the keys of the cell phone when writing messages, the continuous throat clearing, the one produced when someone slurps snot, the ‘click’ when opening and closing a spring-loaded pen, the sound of water droplets falling from a poorly closed faucet, deep breathing, snoring, the snapping sound produced when someone snaps their fingers, the continuous tapping of the foot on the floor or the drumming of the fingers on a surface. And that’s just to mention the most common ones.
People suffering from this ‘Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome’, as it is also known, tend to become irritable, moody, anxious, nervous and stressed after being exposed for a while to all those sounds that are so unpleasant.
What you have just read is a true account of a person suffering from misophonia. But then, what is misophonia? Basically, misophonia is defined as a high sensitivity (hypersensitivity) to a certain type of sounds.
It is one of the conditions involving low tolerance to sound, together with hyperacusis and phonophobia. In people with misophonia, the body reacts in a certain way when exposed to certain sound stimuli.
As we have already mentioned, misophonia consists of a decrease in tolerance to certain sounds. The sufferer cannot tolerate listening to some specific sounds. What for most people are background sounds, for others are deeply unpleasant sounds.
Noises such as chewing, the clinking of cutlery or the drumming of fingers become unbearable for people suffering from misophonia. Some of the sounds that provoke this discomfort have a relatively low intensity, in the order of 40 to 50 decibels.
Misophonia is an auditory hypersensitivity or low tolerance to a certain type of auditory stimuli, but without specific characteristics. In other words, it does not have to be very high-pitched, very low-pitched or very loud sounds.
Misophonia or noise sensitivity manifests itself when sounds to which most people are accustomed and to which they do not pay much attention because they are not significant trigger an intense reaction in people suffering from misophonia, as if they were really something threatening or dangerous.
To date, there is no treatment that cures misophonia. However, psychological treatments can help the person to cope with the problem and improve the situation. Some objectives that can be addressed through psychotherapeutic work are:
The goal should focus on being able to cope with the situations in which these types of sounds occur and to make the daily dynamics of the misophonic person as satisfactory as possible.