Misophonia Treatment in Tampa, FL
Do certain sounds drive you crazy?
Have you ever gotten angry with someone because you could hear them chewing or breathing?
When you hear someone sigh, sniff, or snore, does your blood start to boil?
You might have misophonia, which is defined as a “hate of noises.” Some sounds, such as nails on a chalkboard, cause most people to squirm or shudder in discomfort. However, misophonia may be to blame if a common sound (such as breathing, eating, sniffing, or tapping) causes you to experience a severe negative reaction.
What is Misophonia?
Misophonia literally means “hatred of noises,” although this is not exactly a medical diagnosis.
Just because you dislike the sound of a fork scraping against a plate, or nails on a chalkboard (doesn’t everyone?), you do not automatically have misophonia. True misophonia occurs when hearing a sound gives a person an atypical emotional response like disgust, panic, anger, or distress. It’s more than just disliking a sound – it’s when hearing a sound stops you from living your life in a normal way. People with misophonia will often have to leave the room when they hear a triggering sound, or will avoid situations where they know the sound will be present.
What’s the Difference Between Misophonia and Hyperacusis?
Sometimes misophonia can be confused with hyperacusis. While both conditions relate to a hatred of certain sounds, misophonia is related to the sound itself and what is causing it (chewing, breathing, body noises) and hyperacusis is more of an intolerance of certain volumes, pitches or intensities of certain sounds. Hyperacusis is easier to treat because we can isolate the sounds that cause problems and help dampen them for our patients. Misophonia is more of a psychological disorder that requires both audiology and psychology.
How to Treat Misophonia
The best way to treat misophonia is with a multidisciplinary strategy that includes psychologists and audiologists working together. At Audiology & Hearing Center of Tampa, we use a prescribed sound therapy to soothe the nervous system and assist in rewiring the auditory section of the brain. While these treatments are not overnight fixes, we have helped many people in the Tampa, FL area get relief from misophonia.
How Sound Therapy Works for Misophonia
To treat your misophonia, we actually use a form of tinnitus training therapy, specialized for the sounds that trigger you most. Tinnitus and misophonia work in the brain in similar ways, so the treatment looks similar.
Our goal is not to eliminate the sounds that trigger you. We don’t want to “mask” or cover up these noises because if your brain never hears the trigger sounds, it will never become used to them. The goal is to expose you to the sound, while helping you learn helpful coping mechanisms that will retrain your brain not to have such an emotional response when you do hear them. So the sound of your loved one chewing won’t go away, but over time, it will not bother you as much. Most patients we’ve seen can manage their misophonia if they don’t have any underlying auditory system damage and the treatment is done properly.
Support for Successful Misophonia Treatment
Having a support system of family and friends that understand misophonia is essential to the effectiveness of treatment. Talk to your loved ones who are most often making the triggering sounds and ask if they can help you by being conscious of your condition. Rebuilding the nervous system and brain takes time, but it is possible to make progress with persistence, drive, and a good outlook. Misophonia is both a brain and an ear problem. The length of treatment varies depending on how complicated your symptoms are, but results should start to show within the first few weeks of treatment.
If you or a loved one is struggling with misophonia, we can help! Schedule an appointment with our audiologists today and we can help diagnose the issue and get you on the road to recovery!