Misokinesia (visual triggers)

The word misokinesia describes having negative feelings about something seen. The sight of a particular movement is involved. Often, it’s a repetitive motion. Misokinesia can sometimes accompany misophonia. People with misokinesia have visual triggers. While those with misophonia have issues with sounds. But, not everyone that has misophonia has misokinesia. And, vice versa.

When asked about misokinesia, members of the Facebook misophonia support group came up with hundreds of examples of visual triggers. Many of them involved the face. Or, movements of fingers, hands, and legs. People also mentioned other visual triggers like windshield wipers, fans, and lights.


Visual Triggers are very similar to Sound Triggers

Visual triggers produce the same problems as sound triggers. They cause negative emotions like anger, disgust, and sometimes rage. Like misophonia, a person’s sensitivity can fluctuate. Although, it depends on individual circumstance. Sleep, diet, exercise, and the source of the visual all matter. Visual triggers are not universal. They are unique to the individual.

Unlike misophonia, it is more difficult to avoid visual triggers. A person with misophonia can wear earplugs or headphones. But a person with misokinesia cannot limit their eyesight. Still, the general avoidance techniques used for misophonia can be very helpful.

Top 50 Visual Triggers

(As reported by the Facebook Misophonia Support Group – In no particular order)

  1. Leg tapping, shaking
  2. Foot tapping, thumping
  3. Chewing, open or closed mouth
  4. Nodding
  5. Teeth brushing
  6. Hiccupping
  7. Finger tapping
  8. Fiddling with hair
  9. Toe wiggling
  10. Nail or finger picking
  11. Nail biting
  12. Fingers in mouth
  13. Licking lips, licking other
  14. Thumb sucking
  15. Flickering or flashing lights
  16. Twiddling thumbs
  17. Hair twisting
  18. Yawning
  19. Touching the nose, flaring nostrils
  20. Bringing a cup up to the mouth
  21. Spitting
  22. Opening a package
  23. Lights, blinking or strobe effect
  24. Dragging feet
  25. Pen tapping
  26. Nose when sniffling
  27. Fingers in ears
  28. Fiddling with keys or coins
  29. Stroking a beard
  30. Scratching
  31. Hand to mouth movements, hand gestures
  32. Things that sway back and forth
  33. Protruding tongue
  34. Teeth and toothpick action
  35. Visible food in mouth
  36. Rocking chair movements
  37. Bouncing balls
  38. Biting lips
  39. Nose blowing
  40. Ceiling fans
  41. Windshield wipers
  42. Blowing bubbles
  43. Eye rolling
  44. Hair brushing
  45. Swinging keys
  46. Kissing
  47. People typing
  48. Flossing
  49. Pacing
  50. Rubbing



  1. What a great list!

    having suffered with Misophonia since age 10, I am now 71, it was a great blessing to me to find an actual name for my condition; and that others also suffer with it.

    Many of the things listed above affect me, but I would add one more. Computer screens with blinking, changing or moving areas. I’m not talking about movies that I choose to watch or the like, but those annoying “Hey, look at me-I’m more important than anything you could possibly be doing on the computer” infuriating displays of self importance; commonly known as blinking, flashing, discourteous advertisements!

    As you can tell I do have Misophonia. Thanks for your work and may God bless you with success.

  2. having misophonia makes you want to actually hurt the person that’s making one or more of the triggering noises. You don’t really want to hurt them but that’s the type of anger that builds up inside of you. If one of your sibling’s were chewing really loud, the anger makes you want to hurt them to make them stop even though you don’t actually want to hurt them, not sure if i’m making sense

    • Same! I feel so bad feeling that way, but it just happens. I totally understand.

  3. misokinesia. Thanks!! This describes what I was trying to say in the misophonia article.
    Now we have a name for being annoyed by what we see.

    Also to include in that list above, is seeing often repeated words or names.

    • I am 59 years old and have been made fun of all my life for not being able to stay in the same room with someone kicking their leg or rocking in a chair……Always thought I was screwed up. So grateful it’s not just me. Not a single Counselor could ever help me.

  4. Since I can remember I being the oldest meant sitting next to dad during meals and they were all silent, well to everyone else. Just knowing family dinner every night was mandatory was bad enough. For me, it was constant torture from their first bite of, well, I will spare you the sounds and open mouth eating descriptions I endured until we were excused. That was only part of my issues I suffered from. Over the past 15 years I have been diagnosed with multiple different mental disorders and loaded with many psychological drugs with very little help. After finding Misophonia & Misokinesia I honestly can tie everything to them both. They are real issues that we suffer from and people ie., doctors, need to finally take this seriously.

  5. I am so glad I stumbled onto this site. This makes me feel so much better. For years I thought I was a bad and intolerant person. My worst with misokinesia is repetative movements in my peripheral vision, especially when another person has a nervous tic or constant or people eating with mouth open or eating too fast. My major misophonia triggers are snare drums, band music and jazz. Also someone constantly coughing, sniffling, blowing nose, sneezing, loud clattering of dishes, constant chatter going nowhere, and too much repetition in a song, for example the Beatles “Hey Jude” (all the na-nas hey jude) I like the beginning of the song but when it comes to the na-nas I have to turn it off. Thanks for listening and so glad I’m not the only one and there are names for these disorders!

  6. Why won’t you post my comment?

  7. What about bodily sensations? For example, I have long suffered from misophonia and have met several others who find the sensation of dry feet on a dry mat or dusty dirt/sand to be intolerable.

  8. I am 75 years old and have always had to cope being around or watching someone on television chewing gum. I vividly remember it starting when I was 11 years old. I myself was chewing Juicy Fruit gum and became slightly nauseated. After that, I never did chew gum myself and was extremely uncomfortable being around people chewing gum. I wouldn’t call it a panic attack but I can better understand people who have them. Nice to know the condition has a name. It makes me feel less strange.

  9. This is right on the button for me! I came across this site because I was so irritated by my colleague huffing, mumbling and stroking his face. Has always bothered me, think it stems from my childhood with a anxious and depressed Mum. She ground her teeth, huffed and puffed, shuffled the newspaper etc.
    It makes me really on edge and angry. Eating of apples really is really annoying. I also have an issue with badly placqued teeth. I had to stop volunteering with Down syndrome adults because of it. Makes you feel like you are bad person, so glad it is becoming recognised.

  10. It’s good to know that people out there also suffer from misophonia and im not alone. I also have other visual triggers such as blinking continuously or making any type of eye movement (not pupil) such as moving ur brows that causes the eyes to open more and look sort of creepy at night.

  11. I’m surprised not to see on the Top 50 list one of mine that presents itself a lot: people using their fingers to scroll through content on their phones!

  12. In addition to misophonia and misokinesia, is there also a term for negative feelings triggered by certain types of touch?

    I have misophonia, but in addition, experience similar feelings of annoyance and anger when touched too lightly. When my partner touches me too lightly, it drives me crazy–I instantly feel angry and have to bite my tongue and/or leave the room to avoid unloading on him. I was the same way with my mom, but not as much with other people.

    • I have this too! I suffer from all forms of hyper sensitivity (touch, sight, smell, sounds, and taste) and I honestly thought it was all in my head. Especially because it’s not consistent. I can be touched by some people, but not others. And it’s usually the ones I’m closest to that can’t touch me. I feel horrible because I physically flinch when when touched and it makes my loved one feel bad. But I literally can’t help it.

      • Anita, OMG–I’m so glad to hear that someone else has this touch sensitivity, and that it’s to the people closest to you. You are describing my situation exactly. Does anyone know if there is a term for it?

  13. I’m 53 & after years of being berated for misophonia I’m so pleased I know about it.
    I can’t bear the sound of screaming, shrieking kids…… I want to punch them really hard, just to stop it…..of course I never would, I’m a pacifist vegetarian….but noise cancelling headphones have saved my life….the visual triggers I can avert my eyes…

    • Hi Lily ,,,, I do have other sound problems. Currently I have to keep earphones continuously to avoid listening to some sounds in office and at home too. Will it be a problem using earphones throughout …. I tried using earplugs used for swimming sometimes. Sometimes i feel pain in the ear because of it. any advise please.

  14. Several years ago, when going through a battery of medical tests, while examining my ears, the doctor abruptly stopped and said, “you hear like a dog, don’t you”? Of course I perked up and wondered how in the world he could determine that by looking in my ear. He said that the cochlea in my inner ear was wound tighter than anyone’s he’d ever seen.
    I can’t remember when I haven’t been affected by noise. I experience almost all of the symptoms you’ve listed. As a child, I can recall being on the opposite end of the house and yelling for my dad to stop clanking his cereal bowl. My brother and I shared a bedroom and I would turn on the aquarium pump next to my bed to drown out the noise of him twitching his toes. I catch myself mimicking repetitive words, such as, “it’s like”, or muting the TV when one of the pharmaceutical ads goes on and on about the 1000 side effects their medication could cause. On AMC movie channel an ad or their logo pops up in the lower right hand corner of the screen and stays there during the entire movie, so I just cover one of my eyes or change the channel, even if it’s something I really want to watch. If someone’s making a movement (practically any movement) while we’re watching a movie, I position a pillow on my leg to visually obstruct my view. I literally have to run out of the kitchen when dishes are being put away, unless of course I’m the one putting them away. I always chide my wife for turning on the car blinkers when she’s already in a designated turn lane, or I’ll ask her to turn them off until she’s actually ready to make the turn. I have to take 1/4 of a Xanax before I go to a restaurant, church, or when family is coming over. My anxiety goes out of the roof just anticipating the noise people are going to be making. Any sharp or sudden sound makes me jerk as an involuntary reaction, something my kids and even my wife think I’m doing to be dramatic. Sadly, my wife’s voice is a trigger as well. When we’re with friends, I try to signal her to turn her volume down and that just makes her angry…one of my signals when we’re out to dinner with friends is to gently touch her leg, which to me is reasonable. To me, that’s a reasonable way to let her know but to her, it makes her feel like she can’t be herself, laughing and cutting up with friends. Aside from avoiding as many social interactions as I can and taking a bit of Xanax, I will leave a noisy room and wait as long as I can before I do the obligatory reappearance, or I will lean my head on my fist to discretely plug one of my ears. My heart races, I get angry, I will literally run out of a noisy room, I try to position myself at the dinner table so that I’m not sitting next to someone who talks too loud, smacks, shakes their leg, picks their teeth, scrapes their soup bowl until there’s no visible evidence that there was ever any soup in the bowl, and on and on. My mother talks in a child-like voice, so I’m constantly spinning the conversation so that someone else will be drawn in to interject comments. Whistling is another one that really sends me spinning. I think I could be a poster child for Mesophonia 🙂
    Unfortunately, I’ve made the mistake of sharing my “condition” with a few people and of course their reactions/responses are exactly the ones you’ve listed, the worst being their exaggerated reenactment of the noise or motion I hate and then say, “Oh…you mean like this?” I don’t talk about it much because I don’t want to give in to it and enable myself to a life of complete disassociation with people, especially my family. I try to control as much of my environment as possible, distance myself and even run from trigger people, take Xanax, bite my tongue, swear like crazy in my head, and pray a lot. At least now that I know it’s a real condition, I feel validated to actually have a label attached to my quirkiness.

  15. You are correct…. it makes me think to hurt the person ….. it is very unfortunate that the mind directs that way. It takes lot of thinking to divert myself from that thought and I feel very sorry for my state of mind


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