What are the main sound disorders causes & treatment? Misophonia or selective sound sensitivity syndrome is a sound-related condition that leads to aggression, anger, and irritation. People with misophonia cannot stand some types of sounds. When they hear a triggering sound, they lash out because they can’t handle their mind’s aversion to the sound. Triggers may vary from one person to another. For instance, many people find pen tapping triggering but chewing doesn’t bother them as much.
Let’s not forget that what triggers one person won’t necessarily trigger someone else. Reactions range from running away, annoyance and even rage. Misophonia is an under-researched and poorly understood condition. Before 2000, people referred to this condition as selective sound sensitivity syndrome. Then, experts selected the Greek word misophonia to name the condition. In 2011, various new channels aired stories about misophonia to increase awareness.
Causes of Sound Disorders (Misophonia)
Because there has been limited research on this topic, we know little about the exact causes. However, experts came up with the following factors as cause the emotional response.
1. Brain Chemistry
Research indicates that people with misophonia have differing brain connectivity between the auditory cortex and the anterior insular cortex. The anterior insular cortex or AIC is a section of the brain that’s responsible for emotional processing.
2. Other Mental Conditions
People with Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders develop misophonia.
Many people suffering from misophonia confirmed that they initially had tinnitus. With time, their tinnitus grew worse, and now, they lose their patience when they hear certain sounds.
Misophonia is a genetic condition that can run in the family. So, if a member of your family suffers from the condition, you are likely to develop it as well.
Many people create awareness about this condition through social media platforms. Nevertheless, research is lacking. As we have little data, we cannot pinpoint the actual reason for the condition
Some researchers suggest that misophonia is becoming a common condition. Hence, experts should understand the symptoms and mechanisms of this condition. Furthermore, professionals should come up with an effective treatment plan to reduce its effects.
Diagnosis of Sound Disorders (Misophonia)
When you visit a doctor to address the condition, they use a hearing test to identify the issue. An ordinary doctor can’t diagnose misophonia and similar conditions. Therefore, you need to visit an audiologist, who is a hearing specialist. To consult with an audiologist in NYC, contact Misophonia Cognitive Center.
The audiologist will instantly run advanced listening tests and identify the triggers by making different sounds and examining their responses. For instance, they might tap a pen or stump on the floor. An audiologist measures the reaction by attaching painless electrodes to the ears. This way, they can record the brain’s reaction to the sound.
Treatments for Sound Disorders (Misophonia)
Misophonia doesn’t offer any proper treatment, but you can choose different therapies to reduce the effects of this condition. Here are some therapies that you can opt for with this condition:
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy is helpful to remove associations and negative thoughts about certain triggering sounds. When you stop perceiving triggering sounds as negative, you can avoid an adverse reaction. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders suggests that about 50% of people living with misophonia faced a reduction in symptoms after taking CBT.
There is no approved medication for misophonia. As a result, audiologists suggest medications for depression or anxiety to address these co-occurring conditions.
3. Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT)
This preventive method involves wearing a device that diverts your focus from the triggering noises. The more you pay attention to the sound, the more of a negative response your brain will generate. Therefore, ignore the noises by learning and practicing these relaxation techniques. The therapy is perfect for minimizing automatic stress response. Traditionally, people used Tinnitus Retraining Therapy for Tinnitus. It significantly reduces the impact of triggering noise to your brain and improves your focus on the main goal.
Preventive Measures for Sound Disorders (Misophonia)
Other than treatments, you can adopt some coping strategies, lifestyle changes, and relaxation techniques to reduce misophonia symptoms. Here are some strategies you should try:
- Earplugs can block triggering noises
- You can use a white noise machine to avoid certain noises
- When you feel overwhelmed, try wearing earphones
- If you find a noise irritating, turn on music or television to eliminate those frequencies
- Learn stress management techniques and practice when you listen to triggering noise
- Adjust your environment to get rid of items that produce annoying sounds
- Change your position and practice relaxation techniques such as visualization or deep breathing
Also, talk to others about your condition to see if they can help. That way, people won’t make that noise when you are around. For instance, if someone is whistling or chewing gum and you feel annoyed, talk to them about your negative response.
Sound Disorders Causes & Treatment: Conclusion
Get a free consultation from world renowned expert in sound disorders, Stephen Geller Katz LCSW-R, and make an appointment. Dr. Katz has successfully treated thousands of patients with these types of disorders from all over the world.
Call today to schedule a free consultation on phone or online video session:
MISOPHONIA COGNITIVE CENTER™
Stephen Geller Katz LCSW-R
19 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001