to CBC radio’s science program, Quirks and Quarks, I learned about
Literally translated as “hatred of sounds”, the definition given on the
program was “a sound processing disorder characterized by the experience
of negative emotions such as anger, anxiety or even rage, in response to
everyday sounds generated by other people.”
I wondered if it applies to people with sensory issues.
Although classified as a rare neurological condition, it is more common
among those with a pre-existing neurological conditions, such as autism,
Asperger’s, ADHD, and I would assume Sensory Processing Disorder.
According to the Misophonia Association, some of the
common trigger sounds are:
- Gum Chewing.
- Eating Sounds.
- Lip Smacking.
- Speaking Sounds (s, p, k)
- Breathing Sounds.
- Repetitive softer sounds like pen clicking,
- Nasal noises, throat clearing.
- Sucking through the teeth sounds.
it often starts in the tween years and the trigger sounds are generated
by other people. The CBC interviewer stated he couldn’t stand a noisy
eater because of the association he has between that sound and how
his dad ate when he was drunk. The good news is, because the brain
remains malleable throughout our life, there is optimism for treatments
to reduce or eliminate the problem.
The type of treatment depends on the level of intensity of mesophonia.
Everybody should have his personal sounds to listen for -
sounds that will make him exhilarated and alive or quiet and calm.
1. Single focus.
Some treatments are based on the fact that our brain can only focus on
one thing at a time. If it is focused on relaxing shoulder muscles or
breathing deeply, then the trigger sound becomes a background noise and
less irritating. This takes work. Ask any Buddhist Monk. Good thing we
don’t need to become a monk for it to be useful.
Bonus: learning how to control our focus and to relax has a wide range of
2. Have a
healthy lifestyle so the body can handle stress better,
such as the stress of an irritating sound. Exercise, hydration, healthy
eating, laughter, engaging in joy-filled activities fall under this
cancelling headphones. In one interesting account, a lady was helped by earplugs used
by motorcyclists (reduces some but not all sounds). I say ‘interesting’
because the annoying sounds seem to be annoying when she was in an
unpleasant emotional state. It would’ve been interesting to know if it
could have been cured through learning to cope with her emotions.
4. Dealing with
emotional issues. Traditional therapy or perhaps
something like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). (Does anyone have any
experience with EFT and sensory issues? I don’t and would love to hear if
it helps. EFT keeps popping up in my life but I can’t condemn or condone
it. If you are interested in trying it, and sharing the results with me,
there is a Summit happening, I assume on a
variety of topics, for the next several days. Love to hear your
that are more specifically directed at mesophonia,
such as tinnitus retraining therapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy,
occupational therapy (in this sample, desensitization), psychotherapeutic
hypnotherapy, chelated magnesium supplement, and avoidance of neurotoxic
chemicals. Neurofeedback was another alternative
but, as with everything, it doesn’t always help.
items to encourage calm. Perhaps a new style of weighted
lap pad would help you to remain calm.
We are considering retrofitting a stuffy and have 2 samples to consider.
Help us and we will reward your participation by entering you to win one of the
two stuffies, or one of our lap pads we already off -
The first sample is a fun and funky dinosaur (other animals and colours
are available if we go this route). The body is flat so he would lie on
your lap like a pillow, with the image you see above facing upward. His
belly would not be on your lap like the bear below. The “lap pad” size is
about 41x30 cm / 16x12 in.
The second sample is a bear. His fur is quite soft and the shape would be
natural for petting (no other animal is available at this time). The “lap
pad/body” is about 31x18 cm / 12x7 in.
I would love to hear your response to them!
Do you prefer one over the other?
Would the cute dino become a distraction? Or his cute looks an attraction
and encourage use?
What is your perfect size for a lap pad?
Or do you prefer a less distracting more basic style of lap pad? Or our
simplified flat friends (dino pictured
Both stuffies will be made into weighted lap pads and become prizes that
can be won by
anyone who has shared with us.
Draw on March 16th
(St. Urho’s Day – always a cause for celebration!)
Enter to win by sharing with us!
I hope your life is filled with pleasant sounds this week.
Providing calmness & comfort, learning & laughter,
Stay tuned for something fun for St. Urho's Day,in addition to the draw
of one of the two stuffies for those who give feedback.
Remember to share with us and you will be
entered to win a new lap pad stuffy or one of our tried and true lap
pads. Do it NOW