Overview of Misophonia

Misophonia is a severe sensitivity to sounds and visual images. There are many studies being done to reach effective diagnosis and treatment. It affects women more than men.

Sometimes certain triggers can irritate or annoy an individual. Triggers could be anything from a screeching sound to blinking lights. Such triggers give birth to disorders that can affect an individual’s life greatly.
Misophonia is a disorder in which people react strongly to ordinary sounds such as breathing or talking loudly. People not only react strongly to the sounds but it can ‘drive them crazy’ in the most literal sense.
It is literally translated to “hatred of sound”. Misophonia is also sometimes called Selective Sound Sensitivity Syndrome. The sensitivity to sound is present naturally and cannot be faked or created.
People suffering from this condition have an effect on their psychological and mental health as well. Any normal sound can aggravate them. They cannot find any peace of mind while hearing the sounds.
People with this disorder either get angry as soon as they hear the triggering sound or they immediately leave the room to avoid raising a conflict.

Prevalence of Misophonia

Up to 20% of the global population suffers from mild misophonia. There is inconclusive research on the prevalence rate of misophonia in Pakistan.

Signs and Symptoms of Misophonia

Following signs are taken into account in a misophonic individual:

  • Extreme reaction to certain sounds
  • Showing irritation to sounds from a young age
  • Irritation turning to anger
  • Annoyance turning to anger
  • Physical and verbal lashing at the person making the sound
  • Getting physically aggressive in response to the sound
  • Flight or fight response to a sound

The body’s reaction to the sound includes:

  • Increase in heartbeat
  • Low pulse
  • Sometimes sweating
  • Hypertension
  • Tight pressure throughout the body
  • High body temperature
  • Symptoms usually manifest at an early age of 9 to 13 years.

Types of Misophonia

Causes of Misophonia

Since misophonia is triggered by sound, it is difficult to narrow down the most probable possibilities. But the most common triggers of misophonia are said to be oral sounds such as follows:

  • Loud breathing 
  • Finger or hand sounds
  • Eating sounds
  • Nose sounds
  • Shaking the knees

More than 81 percent of individuals are affected by eating sounds, 64 percent by breathing sounds, and 59.5 percent by hand sounds.
Sometimes people with misophonia react to the visual stimuli that accompany the sound.


Risk Factors of Misophonia

The risk factors of misophonia are as follows:

  • Hearing disorders
  • Psychiatric issues
  • Age factor especially for girls
  • Eating disorders

Health Complications of Misophonia

The person suffering from misophonia may be prone to the following complications such as:


  • The person might become defensive even if the situation does not require it.
  • Changing their lifestyles so that they can avoid certain situations
  • Social anxiety
  • Inferiority complex
  • Depression
  • Anxiety




Some of the best coping mechanisms of misophonia are:


  • Wear protective earpieces to block unnecessary noise
  • Use earphones in case of social anxiety
  • Adjusting your environments so that the trigger noises affect you less
  • Make sure to practice good stress management techniques
  • Remember to take deep breaths




According to the list of current mental health disorders, a person cannot be diagnosed with misophonia as the condition does not exist in the list.
The doctor will take an extensive medical interview and physical examination. Other hearing disorders need to be ruled out first. Evaluation for depression, manic, and depression IQ will be conducted.
Imaging might or might not be performed.

Treatment of Misophonia | When to Consult a Doctor

There is no known specific treatment for misophonia. Different approaches are taken to minimize the effect of the condition. Some of these are as follows:

  • Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT): The ability to tolerate certain noises is improved via this therapy.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Negative thoughts of the individual are changed.
  • Hypnotherapy: The brain is conditioned to feel the misophonic reflex while not having an emotional response.
  • Medications: Muscle relaxants and anti-depression medication can sometimes be given to individuals as well. 

* All medication is to be used as prescribed by the audiologist

Long-term Outlook

Misophonia is a primary disorder. Other psychological conditions might develop with misophonia. Since it is a chronic condition its effects on an individual are long-lasting.

Managing misophonia is hard but the triggers can be quieted down a bit. Misophonic individuals avoid situations that could trigger the condition. 

Misophonia can have long-lasting emotional and psychological effects. Coping with misophonia without proper treatment is very difficult.