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The alliterative term “selective sound sensitivity syndrome” (or “misophonia”) is used to describe a condition whereby a person experiences an intense emotional reaction to a specific sound. It may be a constant tapping of a foot on the floor or hearing someone eat that causes a misophonic individual to fly into a rage. The word “misophonic” literally means “hatred of sound.” This disorder is not caused by hearing impairment and is not the same as “hypercusis” (oversensitivity to the volume of sounds), but it is certainly worth noting. The sensitivity to certain sounds elicits extremely negative and immediate emotional and physiological responses that can significantly alter sufferers’ lives and their interactions with others.

P.S. One possible treatment for misophonia is “tinnitus retraining therapy” (TRT), which teaches misophonic individuals to improve their ability to tolerate certain noises.

Think the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard is unpleasant? This is a mild example of what people with misophonia experience when exposed to a trigger sound. In some cases, a person with misophonia can become socially isolated and pull back from family and friends in an attempt to reduce the associated physical symptoms that they experience when triggered. For more information, please call EAR & HEARING CLINIC. We are registered members of the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario. “Hear the Sounds of Life.”

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