Misophonia and Tinnitus, in my opinion, are so unique in their affects on ones quality of life. Tinnitus or more commonly called, ringing in the ears, can be understood as noises that are heard in our ears or head without being present in the environment. Misophonia is a disturbance cause by external sounds in our environment. This may be someone chewing food, tapping a pen or finger on a table, someone sniffing constantly, or clearing their throat to name a few.
Tinnitus is a disturbance by sounds generated in our head and Misophonia is a disturbance by sounds generated outside of our head or bodies. Each of these can create very negative outcomes of anxiety, frustrations, depression, and lack of sleep or relaxation. Someone with tinnitus might say, that I once used to enjoy reading at night when it was quiet or going to sleep without any noise but because of the sounds in my ears I can’t relax anymore. Someone with Misophonia might say, I have a hard time going to the library because the person beside me is smacking their gum or tapping their foot on the floor.
Each of these cases are bothered by sounds and are very real. Is there help? I do believe we can offer help in various ways. First, a comprehensive assessment of the hearing system and the patient concerns need to be understood by all involved. As we consider help, the patient is an active participant so therefore it’s vital for a great understanding of the causes and effects to be realized. We also want to ensure that there are no medical causes is quite important.
I do believe that we can decrease the loudness and perception of tinnitus via various FDA devices as well as change how people are negatively affected by external sounds in those with misophonia. We are here to listen, advise, educate, help, and above all care for you.