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Misophonia

What is misophonia?

Misophonia is defined as intolerance and strong emotional and behavioural reaction to particular sounds typically related to eating, breathing, lip smacking, sniffing, snorting, clicking, and tapping.

What is the relationship between misophonia and mental health?

Misophonia can have great impact on the individual’s life and if remained untreated it can lead to excessive anxiety and depression and hamper the sufferer’s and their family’s quality of life. Hashir’s pioneering research in collaboration with Department of Experimental Psychology in the University of Cambridge proposed the first mathematical model based on the clinical data which explains the processes in which misophonia and hyperacusis lead to depression. The sooner the treatment is provided the less the risk of developing further psychological disorders which then would need more in-depth psychiatric treatment.

What is the therapy?

The aim of the therapy is to help the patient to modify their cognitive reaction to sound in order to minimise the misophonia-related distress. Once the distress caused by misophonia is eliminated, the improvement in the actual over-sensitivity to the trigger sounds will follow.

Hashir’s clinical experience and research highlighted that in patients who received misophonia-focused therapy, the impact of misophonia on their lives reduced from 50% to 20% and the misophonia-related distress in social places reduced from 60% to less than 10%. Special considerations are needed in assessment and management of patients with misophonia given the frequency-specific pattern of their sound sensitivity and its emotional and behavioural components. Over the past 10 years Hashir has trained over 200 hearing health care professionals on management of misophonia.

Misophonia research highlight

  • Recent study which is published in the International Journal of Audiology (2018) showed that 33% of the children with tinnitus and hyperacusis also experience misophonia.
  • 20% of adults with hyperacusis also have misophonia (International Journal of Audiology, 2018).