Misophonia is an abnormally strong reaction to certain sounds. Generally these sounds, “trigger sounds”, are soft sounds and/or sounds related to another person or animal. Reactions to these sounds occur immediately and automatically. There is no formal diagnostic definition of misophonia, however, there are many commonly reported symptoms that may help refine the diagnosis. A common age of onset for those suffering from misophonia is early adolescence or early teens. Most patients remember the first reaction to a trigger sound was created by a family member or close friend, but almost always created by someone else rather than himself or herself. Therefore the context or the environment in which the sound is created determines if the sound produces a reaction—not the sound itself. The majority of trigger sounds are oral or eating related. People with misophonia—when confronted with a trigger sound—experience negative thoughts and physical reactions. The patient cannot control the reaction. Misophonia often affects quality of life. There is currently no cure for misophonia but there is treatment that includes validation of the diagnosis as well as management of trigger sounds and referrals to appropriate professionals.
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