Loud chewing, slurping, ticking clocks, whistling… You probably know at least one person that finds any of these sounds, or an array of others, incredibly irritating. But is it merely an annoyance to an overly sensitive ear or something more?
Researchers and an increasing number of medical professionals categorize this condition, known as misophonia, as something more. In fact, researchers have found that misophonia is actually a result of structural changes or an anomaly in the brain that heightens sensitivity to certain sounds. And it is also more than an irritant. For sufferers of misophonia, these sounds can cause anxiety, panic, the urge to flee or even anger. The condition compromises one’s ability to focus on tasks, find success at work or even engage in and enjoy social interactions.
So what causes misophonia? While there is still some discussion about the exact causes of the disorder, one study published in the Current Biology journal found that the part of our brain that joins our senses with our emotions – the anterior insular cortex – is overly active in misophonics. According to Dr. Sukhbinder Kumar, the lead researcher from the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle Universit, “We think that misophonia may be heavily connected to recalling past memories, because people with misophonia have had very bad experiences.”
As the condition is quite new, there is not enough data to discern just how many people are affected by misophonia but the research is continuing and gaining ground. For those who think they may be experiencing misophonia, there are resources available to help diagnose the problem. Ruling out other hearing disorders is typically the first step in the diagnosis process. While certain drug therapies, which include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications have been used at times to treat misophonia, there are other safe and promising care options that do not rely on drugs or invasive treatments.
As misophonia is a condition that is rooted in the brain, it makes sense that a doctor who is an expert in the workings of the brain would provide the best choice when seeking out care for the little understood condition. Experts in brain-based care, Chiropractic Neurologists are uniquely suited to work with misophonia patients and work to restore the brain back to optimal functioning through natural therapies. Once appropriate brain activity is restored many symptoms disappear. The the brain can be rehabilitated just like a muscle, which can be exercised and strengthened.
If you or a loved one are suffering from misophonia or would like to learn more about how Chiropractic Neurology can help, please contact the team at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.