Treatment of Misophonia

The DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) does not classify misophonia as a discrete disorder. Psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists all use the DSM-5. Although Misophonia is not considered a psychiatric illness, the DSM-5 still applies. It guides procedure, insurance concerns, general practice, and treatments.

Why are people sensitive to some sounds?

The exact cause of misophonia is unknown. Therefore, there is no completely effective treatment for misophonia. But, this does not mean that one cannot get help. There are some effective coping methods that can be very useful.

What can be done for misophonia?

Some proposed treatments are the ones used for similar disorders. This includes tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT). TRT teaches people to tolerate certain noises. Also used is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which involves changing negative thoughts. Adding background noise to a person’s environment is a predominate treatment. It helps people ignore/tolerate their trigger sounds. Other less used approaches to treatment have included desensitization techniques, deconditioning, and medications.
According to Wikipedia, misophonia has no current evidence-based treatment available. Many other sources agree. strives to provide relative and current information on misophonia. And, we recognize that misophonia is still in the initial stages of study. Keeping an open mind may serve us well when seeking treatment options. There is no definitive course of action. But, research indicates that treatment will be addressing sensory and neurological matters.
Supporting research is worthwhile. Viable treatments get discovered when research is active well-funded. promotes participation in online support groups as part of self-help. These groups are helpful to many people and offer camaraderie and support. The members of the Facebook group report that connecting with others is very helpful.

The internet offers different misophonia treatments.

It is sensible to evaluate information before accepting it as fact. Managing one’s misophonia-related issues requires caution. This is because misophonia is not well-studied. It has no definitive cause or standard treatment. At this point, there are early small-scale studies that have not yielded definitive results. A statement released by Duke University said: “There are no single specific behavioral or device-based treatments that have been rigorously tested scientifically and shown to efficaciously treat misophonia.” In other words, buyer beware.

 We should expect answers from providers about their proposed treatment plans. One should have some idea about the treatment’s components. For example, which interventions will the provider use? And, what is the rationale for their approach? Is it based on any scientific study or evidence? Lastly, are there any potential risks involved with the proposed treatment?

Documentation is important!

Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD, a psychiatrist, wrote an article for She states: “ Since it is thought that this illness develops at least partly as the result of the misophonia sufferer developing a conditioned response to certain noises, an approach that has had some success is the process of deconditioning people with this disorder.” Since the article doesn’t mention the source of this claim, a search for more detailed documentation on desensitization is in order. The page ends with this ambiguous phrase: “Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on (insert date here).” Also, each page’s footer also contains a disclaimer. It reads: “MedicineNet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Should we discount all the information on No, not altogether. But one may wish to get more detailed information.

Similarly, also states that it does not “provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.” It presents a limited explanation of misophonia using only one audiologist’s opinion. This audiologist treats tinnitus and hyperacusis. But, the information in the article appears to be reasonable. It mirrors suggested treatments found elsewhere. (e.g., psychological counseling, sound masking, use of medication) But this is still only one audiologist’s opinion. It’s not scientific or medical consensus.

Who Can Help?


An audiologist may help by evaluating whether a person has misophonia or some other audiological issue. Audiologists can suggest the use of earplugs and fit them to an individual. These can be made to supply white noise or other sounds to mask problem noises.


Psychologists can help people by evaluating and studying behavior and mental processes. A plan for reducing stress and coping with the symptoms of misophonia could be developed by a psychologist familiar with the condition.


A psychiatrist is a medical practitioner specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Although misophonia is not a psychiatric condition, psychiatrists can prescribe medication to treat the symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, rage, and depression.


A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles. Most of the time, a primary care doctor refers patients to a neurologist if they have symptoms that indicate a neurological condition.

Occupational Therapists

An occupational therapist may help with assessing treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder.


  1. “A neurologisdt is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing and treating diseases of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles.”

    Just wanted to let you know about this typo!

  2. My son seems to have this problem he cannot eat at the same table as my husband who makes a bit of a noise when he is eating. Sometimes other things trigger my sins anger as scraping bowls and plates. Do we need to go to the doctors to get my son some cognitive help.

  3. My husband and family just think I’m a “drama Queen.” It’s very frustrating they don’t take this serious. That just adds to the rage with the triggers. If there’s ever more studies funded…… I’m happy to volunteer. I’d love to see my synapses firing!

    • Yes! Me too! Whatever will help me with this! It’s debilitating!

  4. Does anyone have any coping mechanisms that do not involve meeting with a professional that help in class? I am almost unable to sit through a class and require a distraction to keep my mind off of my tics. I have a professor that smacks his lips and I can’t even hear what he says because I have no choice but to flex my entire body and tally how many times he does it. I can’t have an official diagnosis of this with my profession, so I am struggling immensely with this. Sniffling is my absolute worst tic but hearing my professor smack his mouth this much, he may surpass what I thought was my worst trigger.

    • In lectures, I use earplugs or slight noise canceling headphones (the ones for monster truck or race car events work well but are not always practical). They block out smaller noises like coughing and breathing but I can still hear people talking. This may also work for the lip smacking.

  5. I have been bothered by sounds for years, but only recently have seen this could be misphonia, but have not been diagnosed. I experience anger, extreme anxiety, and remove myself from the situation, if I can. If I hear someone eating, hearing the utensil in their mouth, hitting their plate with the utensil, and smacking their mouth. This includes chewing gum, tapping of fingers on a table or using a pen or pencil to tap. Sniffling gets me too. Just annoying sounds drive me crazy. The weird thing is I can listen to music I like at full volume and it doesn’t bother me a bit, but relaxes me.

  6. The sounds that are the hardest for me are dogs or cats licking or eating drinking. Or children making slurping sucking sounds. It started 20 some years ago, only half my life so I wonder if there is a medical reason. Its horrible and hard to be around my kids or pets…

  7. After studying ”sensitivity to noise” and other possible ailments. I’m almost convinced this is some kind of neurological issue. After being treated for c-ptsd using EMDR (failed badly). I have developed terrible dislikes for certain ‘non-issue’ sounds. Almost to the point of losing my bloody mind. I’ve become over reliant on silicon ear plugs.

    I am no doctor by any means. But, having something like ptsd/c-ptsd in my case, has made me so ‘in-tune’ with all my senses. I personally think that, conditions like: OCD/PTSD/c-PTSD and even TBI (traumatic brain injury) could cause or accompany Misophonia. Even auto-spell check hasn’t recognised it as a condition yet, lol.

    Like I said. I am no doctor, however, I strongly believe the only way to combat this horrible affliction. Is to very gradually expose your ears to each annoying sound. The other thing which I strongly believe will come to pass is; NIR or Near-Infrared light therapy. I’m talking about the IR that can penetrate tissue, bone and brain in the 808-830nm range, btw. Big Pharma is quaking in their boots, trust me!

    Alas, I digress lol. All the best my fellow Misophoniaites and recovery is in your grasp.

  8. My spouse has been managing misophonia for decades. I have adopted some realistic mitigation techniques that have positively impacted our mealtimes. For instance, background music & earplugs with dinner. I primarily eat with a nice bamboo silicon spoon or hefty quality plasticware and precut foods like steaks on a cutting board then plate it, which significantly reduce plate scraping trigger noises. Run stove exhaust fan while cooking and feeding our dog. We utilize a host of other easy, considerate adaptations that help us enjoy quality time together. I’m happy to share my experience as an encouragement to others if there is an interest in the spouse/partner/family perspective. Feeling like “you’re the trigger” is horribly exasperating, but together you can experiment with some adjustments to help your loved one cope. – Kristen in NH

  9. It is extremely relieving to read everyone’s comments and to see I’m not alone! When I first heard about misophonia/ 4S a few years back, I was so astounded, I cried.

    My family think I’m an absolute nutcase, due to my mother’s constant (40+ years and counting!) cough and throat-clearing every few minutes – which I am compelled to mimic – plus my father’s loud eating noises which sound like a raw steak being slapped against a wall! Much as I love them both, the sounds infuriate me so much I have punched walls in the past, in fury. Then, for at least ten minutes after the trigger, I actually hate them. This is extremely distressing, as a so-called functioning adult. It feels childish but I can’t help it. I try to cover up my reactions but it is difficult, especially when there are other people around and this problem has had a major impact upon my life. If somebody else reads this and realises they’re not mad, it’s An Actual Thing, then I hope it helps!

  10. Blanca
    I have just found that actually what I have been through all my life has a name. Misophonia. I could not believe I was not alone. I have suffered from this since I was a little girl and the trigger was always the way my brothers ate. They use to do it in purpose because it was funny for them, for me, I used to fight and hit them. While I grow up more noises were added to the eating like the chewing gum. In the adolescence, I have to withdraw any time from my family and friends, I have to grow mostly alone to avoid disturbances. As an adult the problem grew, more noises were making me mad like people walking upstairs, the barking, the cars passing by, people talking loudly or playing music, etc. I have to move many times and start my life many times, I did choose to work at night as this helps me a lot. Nowadays my ears ache a lot, and the trigger is the bass or the volume of my neighbor’s sound devices, even the smallest I can hear from my house. I am now into the caving and that relieves the pain in my ears and the stress in my brain. Working from home as I can not cope with many noises now but fighting a lot with my neighbors. Never been tested or diagnosed.

  11. Even as a kid I was teased mercilessly by both peers and adults alike for my “weird” aversion to some common sounds. I would isolate myself to read in trees (truly) and sleep with a pillow over my exposed ear (I still do this). My husband thinks I am nuts the way I can’t stand to watch or listen to him scrape his plate, chew, etc. in fact, the best thing that has ever come along for my “noise problem” is Apple AirPods Pro. I pop these things in and immediately my stress levels drop even before I put on music.


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