Noise Sensitivity

Certain noises will cause discomfort and emotional responses in everyone, but when this is ongoing and amplified, it may be a sign that you have a noise sensitivity condition like Misophonia or Hyperacusis.


If you feel disgusted to the point of rage when you hear the sound of chewing, swallowing, breathing, throat-clearing and other common “people” noises, you’re not alone. You’re also not crazy. Misophonia is a sound sensitivity disorder, which makes certain noises intolerable to the sufferer.

Although this condition is primarily neurological, the experience of these sounds can cause psychological distress and trigger a fear response. Not to be confused with fear of sounds.

One of the primary difficulties of living with this disorder is others’ reactions. Those who do not have any hypersensitivity to sound simply cannot imagine how their chewing and swallowing noises can be so disgusting to another person. Often, protests from the sufferer are misinterpreted as passive-aggressive personal attacks or simply not believed at all.

Sometimes symptoms of misophonia are poorly understood and it is not uncommon for a person to be misdiagnosed with an anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or even a bipolar disorder says WebMD.

Although there is no cure for misophonia as yet, there are various techniques that can help dial back the symptoms of misophonia so it does not interfere so severely with everyday life.

If it is more than a few sounds that are sending you around the bend, it may not be misophonia your experiencing but rather Hyperacusis.

Hyperacusis is a collapsed tolerance to everyday sounds.  While long recognised in children with Autism, it is only now being recognised more widely in connection to  , ear and nerve damage in some people who are aged, had high exposure to noxious (harmful) noise,  had an ear operation, had some high chemical exposures including to certain medications, and some people who have certain health conditions such as migraines, PTSD, and chronic fatigue syndrome.




Resources for this article

The Mispohonia Assocation
Misophonia by WEB MD
Living with Extreme Sound Sensitivity by Craig A. Maxwell, DO at PsychCentral.


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