Unlike Hyperacusis, the sounds that trigger Misophonia are usually not loud. The nature of sounds that usually trigger the people who suffer from misophonia is usually continuous and intrusive in nature. Let’s remind ourselves that a person with Misophonia is usually a very sensitive person. Their level of tolerance for these obnoxious or irritating sounds is not very high. These sounds can be very subtle and also very loud. Each individual who suffers from this condition has low tolerance for particular sounds but some sounds are more common than others.
Sounds That Trigger Misophonia
Sounds When Chewing
This sound is the most common one that have a very triggering effect on a person with Misophonia. A person with Misophonia will display an immediate and rigorous reaction to this sound. The problem with this sound is that even the general population does not like the sound of loud chewing. You may be disgusted by it, but that would only mean that you are sensitive to that sound and are likely to address it by a verbal protest. A person with Misophonia gets triggered by this sound and experiences an involuntary reflex reaction to it. So, eating in public restaurants or around people can be impossible.
Sounds When Breathing
This is the second most common sound that can trigger a response. Just like chewing, it is also an accumulative sound; it is subtle, repetitive, and the human mouth produces it. Not that it matters where the sound is coming from because the sounds made on the dinner table can also invoke a response. Breathing sounds would include all sorts of breathing, snorting, sniffing, yawning, whistling, signing, coughing, and sneezing.
Sounds produced vocally
Any sound that our vocal cords or mouth produces can cause a Misophonic trigger, these include smacking lips together, making particular sounds with the help of your tongue, high pitched whispering etc. The little casual murmurs we might find ourselves making can also cause a Misophonic jerk. Sometimes, the consonant sounds produced by us can also be triggers (S and P) mostly. This is why people who suffer with Misophonia prefer not to interact with other people. They would rather have no social life than be in excruciating pain.
Sounds Produced in Our Homes
We usually do not notice sounds in our homes. Thankfully, we don’t suffer from Misophonia. A person who suffers from a severe case of Misophonia leads a hard life. This is because if they try to isolate themselves from others and lock themselves up in their room, they are still not safe if the neighbors decide to have a party. Studies have shown that one of the most common triggering sound, after eating and breathing sound, is the sound of bass playing through walls. This sound also follows the similar continuous and repeating pattern. Other less common triggering sounds produced in the house include, table shifting, glasses clinking, vacuuming, window wiping, walking with flip flops on, opening a bag of chips, the crackling of wrappers, nail clipping, etc.
Sounds Produced Outdoors
If it were possible, a person suffering from Misophonia would spend their days locked inside the house. Earning a living can be a disastrous effort for people who are hunted down by Misophonic sounds that can arise from anywhere. Many sounds in the workplace may annoy a Misophonic person. Sounds like keyboard typing, mouse clicking, beeping of phones, printers, laptops, and banging of desks. This makes it almost impossible to concentrate on work. Other sounds that can bother a Misophonic person outside the house are car of engines, construction noise, doors slamming, and birds chirping. These Misophonic sounds that are produced outside can push anyone suffering from this disorder to become socially isolated.
This disorder is a weird phenomenon. Not only do the sounds of certain kinds set off an emotional response, but also the actions that produce those sounds can cause an emotional outburst in a misophonic person. If chewing is bothersome to the person with the disorder, then the very action of a person putting a gum in their mouth can also elicit an emotional response. Just like the repetitive nature of certain sounds, actions that are repetitive in nature can provoke a reaction. Actions like shaking legs, scratching the face, and brushing hair. Basically, any visual image that occurs before the trigger can be associated with causing a Misophonic trigger response.
Sounds That Trigger Misophonia: To Conclude
Anything that vaguely follows a soft and repetitive pattern, whether it is a sound or a sight, can cause an misophonia related emotional reaction. It is important for us to understand that a person with Misophonia not only hears this sound but also feels it intensely.
If you or anyone you know has this disorder, schedule a tele-meeting with Stephen Katz LCSW at the Misophonia Cognitive Center™: 646-585-2251