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Misophonia: What it is, symptoms, and triggers

Misophonia: What it is, symptoms, and triggers

Misophonia

Overview

Misophonia refers to the people who are extremely sensitive to certain sounds and it is an autonomic response of the nervous system. When a person feels like unable to escape from the sound is also known as Misophonia. There could be things that are triggering like

  • Smacking gum
  • Crunching ice
  • Tapping pens
  • Clicking pens
  • Dragging our feet

There are a lot of things that people do in daily life without thinking about it. This would be difficult for people with Misophonia because it makes hard for them to be at work. The noises that they experience that are so triggering, are so difficult for them to manage. There are ways that we can best manage the symptoms of this condition and let people know about it.

There are a lot of people who struggle with this and the treatment options are pretty limited. People are still developing the advanced treatment options to treat this condition, and for now, all they want you to do is avoiding the triggers. Do things that make you feel better and stronger to avoid the triggers of this condition. If smacking foods is one of those triggering foods and it is advised to eat alone.

What are the indicators of Misophonia?

The most common symptoms associated with Misophonia is going to be anger or aggression, to people making certain sounds. It will be difficult for an individual who is suffering from Misophonia to manage the sounds. This condition can affect both men and women at any age and the best way to manage the symptoms of this condition is to avoid the triggers.

Feeling excessive pressure, muscle tightness, fast heartbeat, increases in high blood pressure, increases in body temperature, irritation turning to anger, beating people who are making the certain sounds, disgust turning to anger, verbally abusing the person who is making the noise, throwing objects because of the trigger sounds, and physically lashing out at the person making the noise are considered as the common symptoms associated with Misophonia.

In addition to the above symptoms, it has been observed in a study that people who are suffering from Misophonia are more likely to develop mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Research shows that 52.4 percent of the people with Misophonia can have an increased risk of getting diagnosed with OCPD (obsessive-compulsive personality disorder). Some people will have only mild symptoms while others may have severe or debilitating symptoms

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor or a therapist immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above. Your doctor should evaluate you for other possible causes of your symptoms before treating Misophonia. Together, you and your doctor can determine the best way to manage your symptoms.

What triggers this condition?

There are a number of well-established triggers developing the condition. Lip smacking, chomping, food smacking, crunching ice, smacking gum, slurping, throat clearing, and swallowing are considered as the most common triggers associated with Misophonia.

Sniffling, tapping pens, writing sounds, car doors slamming, dragging our feet, papers rustling, clicking pens, foot wagging, hair twirling, nose rubbing, ticking clocks, and the sounds of birds, crickets, and animals are considered as the other triggers of this condition. It has been observed in research that eighty-one percent of the people with Misophonia is affected by the eating sounds.

What are the causes of Misophonia?

The main cause of Misophonia is still unknown to the researchers. People with underlying medical conditions such as anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourette syndrome have a higher risk of developing this condition.

There appears to be a higher occurrence of Misophonia among the people who have tinnitus. It is a disorder in which you can only hear the sounds that no one else can hear. People who are suffering from the above disorders are more likely to develop Misophonia.

People with a higher level of anxiety, stress, and other mental health condition have an increased risk of getting diagnosed with Misophonia. The family history of this disease also considered one of the causes of this condition. When a member of the family had diagnosed with a high level of anxiety or stress or continuously hearing the sound, chances of their children also may experience the same.

How is Misophonia Diagnosed?

There are no sources for physicians to diagnose this condition. In the United States, Psychiatrists use DSM-5 to confirm the diagnosis of various mental health conditions, and it does not list Misophonia. Due to this reason, it is not possible for professionals to diagnose this condition.

The following are the individuals who can help people with Misophonia and they all come under the Misophonia Provider Network which was developed by an International Misophonia Network. These individuals include

  • Audiologists
  • Medical doctors
  • Psychiatrists who know Misophonia

What are the treatment options available for Misophonia?

People with Misophonia feel embarrassed and unable to convey their problems to the physicians. It will result in severe or debilitating symptoms. A discussion with your health care provider may help determine which option would be best for you to treat Misophonia. This condition is not known by many healthcare professionals and it is difficult to say how many professionals can treat this condition. There are treatments for this which can include lifestyle alternations, non-prescription options as well as prescription medication. These therapies include

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Medications
  • Lifestyle alterations

Let’s discuss the above treatment options in detail:

Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)

The main objective of this therapy is to improve the person’s ability to tolerate the trigger sounds who are suffering from Misophonia. This therapy introduces new sounds to the affected person and helps them to cope with it. The therapist will keep an eye on patients whether he or she is associating with the trigger sounds or not. Research shows that people with Misophonia are able to ease the symptoms with the help of this therapy. This therapy is used to treat the following conditions such as

  • Tinnitus
  • Hyperacusis

This therapy is highly effective and does not have side effects. Therefore, it is recommended to the people who are suffering from Misophonia.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This therapy helps people with Misophonia to change negative thoughts in the brain. A therapist may ask you some questions relating to your problems and can review with you about your family history and help you to determine what options are best for you. The main objective of this therapy is to remove the negative thoughts in your mind by replacing them with positive thoughts.

See Also

Medications

In a very rare scenario, your healthcare provider may prescribe you some medications to ease the symptoms of Misophonia. It has been observed that Lyrica and Klonopin drugs are quite helpful to the people who are suffering from Misophonia and these drugs are used in the management of Misophonia.

Side effects of Lyrica

Dizziness, feeling sleepy all the time, unable to coordinate with someone or loss of balance, Dry mouth, hard bowel movements, sudden changes in weight, Edema, breast swelling, tremors, unable to see clearly or blurred vision, unable to concentrate on the things or difficulty in concentrating, and memory problems are considered as the most common side effects of this anti-epileptic drug.

Side effects of Klonopin

Blurred vision, drowsiness, loss of appetite, dizziness, runny nose, weakness, sore gums, mental health problems, dry mouth, loss of orientation, unable to speak clearly or slurred speech, pain in the head, difficulty in sleeping or unable to sleep, unable to concentrate on the things or difficulty in concentrating, and problems with thinking are considered as the common side effects of this drug. This medication belongs to the drug class benzodiazepine.

It is really important for people with Misophonia who are experiencing the above side effects to consult a healthcare provider.

Lifestyle Alterations

A well-balanced diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight can reduce the chances of experiencing these adverse conditions associated with Misophonia. Seventy percent of the patients will resolve this condition just by themselves if they made some lifestyle modifications and following it.

Conclusion

People with Misophonia generally have excellent hearing and It is important to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. There is no cure for this condition and the main objective of any type of treatment is to ease the symptoms of the disease. It has been observed in research that eighty percent of the people who are diagnosed with Misophonia got relief from the condition with several therapies.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691507/
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0054706
  3. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00296/full
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24752915
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