Misophonia and tinnitus are both auditory conditions that impact someone’s quality of life. But are they connected? In this article, we explore tinnitus, misophonia, and the connection between these conditions.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is ringing or buzzing in the ears when there is no external source of noise. It can be temporary or chronic and can range from mild to severe. Tinnitus is often related to hearing loss, but it can also occur without hearing loss.
What Is Misophonia?
Misophonia is also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome. It’s a condition where certain sounds trigger strong emotional reactions. Some common emotional reactions with misophonia include anger, irritation, or anxiety. Common trigger sounds include chewing, tapping, or breathing noises. The severity of misophonia can vary. Some have a mild annoyance while others have extreme reactions.
How Are Misophonia and Tinnitus Connected?
While misophonia and tinnitus are distinct conditions, they share some similarities and connections:
- Auditory processing. Both misophonia and tinnitus involve the way the brain processes sound. In tinnitus, the brain perceives sound when none is present. In misophonia, the brain overreacts to certain sounds.
- Emotional reactions. Both conditions can trigger strong emotional responses. Tinnitus sufferers may experience frustration or distress due to the constant noise. Misophonia triggers intense emotions in response to specific sounds.
- Co-occurrence. Some individuals may experience both tinnitus and misophonia at the same time. One study found that 60% of participants with tinnitus also had misophonia symptoms. But, it is important to note that this does not mean that one condition causes the other.
- Potential shared treatments. Both conditions involve auditory processing and emotional responses. Because of this, some treatments can help both misophonia and tinnitus sufferers. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has shown promise in treating both conditions. Sound therapy may also be helpful for some individuals with tinnitus or misophonia.
While misophonia and tinnitus are separate conditions, they do share some similarities. Both are similar in how they affect auditory processing and emotional reactions. It is possible for someone to have both conditions, and some treatments may be effective for both. If you have symptoms of misophonia or tinnitus, contact us today. We can help diagnose your condition and recommend appropriate treatment options.