New study reveals 1 in 5 people in the UK suffer from Misophonia - a condition triggered by common sounds

Do certain sounds make you feel angry?

Have you experienced misophonia? It can cause negative reactions to common sounds like breathing, yawning, or tapping. King’s College London and University of Oxford research suggests 1 in 5 in the UK are affected.

Misophonia causes anger and panic. A study by Oxford and King’s College found that only 13.6% of people knew about the condition, with 2.3% identifying as having it. Misophonia is common in both genders and tends to be less severe with age.

The sounds that trigger misophonia sufferers include breathing, footsteps, and swallowing. This condition can cause feelings of helplessness and a sense of being trapped when people can’t escape unpleasant sounds. Often, those with misophonia feel guilty for reacting strongly, especially when the sounds come from loved ones.

Treatments such as relaxation, deep breathing, sound therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help to reduce anxiety in misophonia sufferers. However, more research is necessary to understand the root causes of the condition and to develop more effective interventions to help those affected by it.

Dr. Silia Vitoratou, the lead author, said their new scale could aid understanding and support for misophonia sufferers. The NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre and Wellcome funded the study, which was published in Plos One, potentially starting new approaches to help those affected.

Hyperacusis is a hearing sensitivity causing physical discomfort due to everyday sounds being louder than usual, even painful. It can affect one or both ears, and may develop suddenly or over time. Those with hyperacusis can be discomforted by common sounds like a dog barking, a car engine, chewing, a vacuum cleaner, or jingling coins, among others.

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