What is Misophonia?

Olwyn specialised in hyperacusis and misophonia with Dr Hashir Aazh. A link to his research can be found below.

Misophonia is considered an oversensitivity to certain sounds and sound intolerance, which can result in annoyance, difficulty concentrating, thinking, and remaining in the environment. The sounds are mostly man-made and consist of food chewing, breathing, nose sniffling or whistling, throat clearing, lip-smacking, clicking and tapping.  They can include environmental sounds which may not necessary be loud in level. Misophonia can be accompanied with anxiety and anxiety related disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In misophonia neurons behave in a similar way to hyperacusis except the type of sound is the trigger rather than the loudness of the sound. Below are the most common sound triggers taken from Dr Hashir Aazh. Erfanian, M. & Aazh, H. (2023). What is Misophonia? Available at:


Misophonia and The Brain

The brains of people with misophonia seem to work differently which gives rise to negative experiences according to studies. One part of the brain known as the Insula is responsible for disgust, emotional processing, emotional regulation, interoception (helps you understand and feel what is going on inside your body) and processing of saliency (how prominent or important something is). Dr Hashir Aazh and other researchers have found that the insula can be over connected to the amygdala, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and posterior cingulate cortex. Please see image taken from Dr Hashir’s work.  For example: over connection with the amygdala may lead more attention to trigger sounds like eating which leads to negative emotions like anger and disgust. Olwyn and the team can help you understand what is going on with you or your child and advise the best course of action.

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What Is The Therapy?

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps to manage and understand the behavioural, cognitive, and emotional processes that are linked to the clients misophonic response. This enables the alleviation of stress, anger, depressive and anxiety, symptoms by helping the patient to change their dysfunctional safety seeking behaviours and thoughts.

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