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Misophonia, Hyperacusis and Tinnitus In Children

Tinnitus, hyperacusis and misophonia are prevalent among children and adolescents. Average age of patients seen in our paediatric clinic is 12 years old (from 2.5 years old to 16 years old). Approximately in 20% of our paediatric patients the main complaint is tinnitus, 30% hyperacusis, and 50% misophonia. There is a large overlap/ comorbidity between these conditions.

Tinnitus, hyperacusis, and misophonia often create unnecessary stress and unhappiness for the child and their family which could hamper their enjoyment of life and limit their educational and social development. This will impact on the child functional skills such as participation in school activities and social skills. If you think that your child may have misophonia, tinnitus and hyperacusis you should see a specialist audiologist. In Hashir’s clinic we use different approaches to help your child to manage their symptoms effectively and enable them to grow, develop and flourish.

Tinnitus, hyperacusis and misophonia are also common among children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), auditory processing disorder and learning difficulties. The therapy in our paediatric clinic has shown to significantly reduce tinnitus/hyperacusis/misophonia-related distress in patients with and without such conditions.

How would you know if your child has tinnitus?

Tinnitus is hearing a sound in the ears or head with no external source (e.g., buzzing, high-pitched whistle, hissing…). Tinnitus is usually different from auditory hallucinations as they typically involve hearing imaginary voices and inner speech. Although some people with tinnitus report that their tinnitus sounds like muffled speech or musical tunes, most people describe their tinnitus as buzzing noise, high-pitched noise, etc.

If your child complains of tinnitus complete this questionnaire in order to find out if it impacts on their life. Make sure to put your email address on the form so you get the result!

Tinnitus impact questionnaire

How would you know if your child has hyperacusis?

Hyperacusis is a term that is used to describe intolerance to certain everyday sounds that causes significant distress and impairment in social, occupational, recreational, and other day-to-day activities. The sounds may be perceived as uncomfortably loud, unpleasant, frightening, or painful.

Typical trigger noises that cause irritation and discomfort for children with hyperacusis are: hand dryers in public toilets, dog bark, laughter, screams, whistle, thunder, firecracker, truck, classroom noise, mixer, motorcycle, school bell, car, musical instruments, drills, vacuum cleaner, telephone, lawnmower, loud music, loud crowds, electric machines, thunder, bursting balloons, fireworks, siren, and shouting.

Typical reactions to sound in children with hyperacusis comprise: Crying and escaping from sound source, covering ears with both hands, making statements like ‘it hurts my ears’, hitting, throwing items, tearing books, and breaking pencils, making statements such as: ‘when I hear a loud sound, I feel as if it is drilling into my ears.’ Hyperacusis can have significant impact on child’s social and academic achievement. Children with hyperacusis struggle to concentrate on school tasks as they get distracted easily with unexpected noises.

If your child complains of the above symptoms then complete this questionnaire in order to find out if it impacts on their life. Make sure to put your email address on the form so you get the result!

Hyperacusis impact questionnaire

How would you know if your child has misophonia?

Misophonia is intolerance to certain sounds related to eating, chewing gum, lip smacking, mouth noises, sniffling, breathing, certain speech sounds, clicking, and tapping. In about 30% of children with misophonia, another family member also have misophonia or trends of misophonia.

Typical reactions to trigger sounds in children with misophonia are anger, disgust, telling people to stop making noises, mimicry, aggression and avoidance. It is important to determine if their emotional and behavioural reactions are not better explained by another disorder, e.g., ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorders, mood disorders, tic disorders, etc.).

Children with misophonia may present with emotional dysregulation, experiencing symptoms such as low frustration tolerance, impulsivity, temper outbursts, and significant mood fluctuations. Poor emotional regulation can lead to social issues, meltdowns, problems at home and school, anxiety and challenging behaviour. See the Specialised Rehabilitation Programme page to learn how we can help your child to get over misophonia and regulate their sensory needs through specific techniques.

If your child complains of the above symptoms then complete this questionnaire in order to find out if it impacts on their life. Make sure to put your email address on the form so you get the result!

Misophonia impact questionnaire

For Hearing Healthcare Professionals