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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 individuals life and if remained untreated it can lead to excessive anxiety and depression and hamper the sufferers and their familys quality of life. Hashirs 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. Hashirs 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.

A Neurologic, Psychologic, and Audiologic Complex

The Hearing Journal: March 2020 – Volume 73 – Issue 3 – p 20,22,23

Misophonia is intolerance and oversensitivity to certain sounds, which can result in rage and annoyance that may limit a person’s ability to spend time with family, friends and participate in social events. Some of the trigger sounds include eating, clicking, sniffing, gum chewing, lip-smacking, breathing, and tapping. In individuals with misophonia-related distress, this initial emotional reaction is typically followed by a vicious cycle involving negative thoughts leading to further negative emotions, physical sensations, and evaluative thoughts which feed back into the patients initial emotional reaction leading to exacerbation of their negative feelings about the trigger sounds. In addition, the observation of specific movements or anticipation of the trigger sounds can trigger intense aversive responses associated with feelings of distress, disgust, irritability, and anger, which can lead to increased focus on the sound source. In this paper, Prof Dane sh (US) and Dr Hashir Aazh (UK) discuss the complexities of misophonia. For full article click here.

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).
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