You may have never heard of misophonia, but it is actually impacting people as young as 12. It’s a trigger brought on by a particular noise that may create a negative reaction beyond just a casual brushoff. Those who suffer from this disorder find themselves dealing with different physiological responses, some with a significant impact on one’s mental health.
Like hyperacusis and tinnitus, the reaction to a trigger sound can impact any patient’s daily life and wellbeing. Also, just like those disorders, there are ways of testing for and treating this condition.
A misophonia test involves an in-depth look into what causes this irritation and a significant response to a specific sound. Psychiatrists, audiologists, and other health care professionals may be a part of a misophonia care team. One of the key parts of testing is ruling out other hearing disorders like hearing loss, tinnitus, and auditory hallucinations. The illness has also been connected with other mental health issues like depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In some cases, misophonia sufferers are misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, because of the distraction brought on by something as simple as a loud chew or a snore.
Health care professionals will order routine lab testing as part of an initial evaluation for misophonia. This will include a standardized questionnaire or a self-test to help disqualify other disorders. Some medical experts recommend an X-ray or scan to check for any physical obstruction that may be causing the symptoms connected to such hearing disorders.
Running from the room when someone chews on a pen cap or suffering migraines when a person taps their fingers on a desk can leave a lot of people suffering from misophonia feeling like an outcast. However, there are various forms of treatment to make living with this condition a lot easier.
With anxiety disorders and OCD having been linked to this condition, a member of your care team may suggest the psychological approach to treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, may help misophonia patients change the negative connotations they have with a triggering noise. Tinnitus retraining therapy can also be factored in for helping turn a common sound into just that, a common sound, and not an aggravating trigger. It combines sound therapy with counseling over a 12 to 24 month span. TRT seeks to achieve extinction of reflexes causing distress with trigger sounds.
Some medical professionals also recommend a simple change in lifestyle to potentially ease the anxiety associated with misophonia. Simple fixes like a healthier diet and regular exercise regimen can help a patient beyond diagnostic evaluation.
Health Coverage and Misophonia
Treatment for hearing disorders like misophonia can bring about significant out-of-pocket costs for someone without proper health insurance coverage. Medicare or Medicaid may cover basic services, but certain private insurance options can account for testing, doctor’s visits, and further possibilities to help curb this disorder.
Extra services and/or hospital cover through a private insurance company allows for choice and flexibility in creating your care team. These health insurance plans come with varying premiums and deductibles based on the level of coverage needed. For example, a bronze hospital insurance policy will allow for more than basic psychiatric services, and pave the way for testing of the central nervous system, and further mental health evaluation.
In regards to health insurance coverage for extra services, a policyholder can receive a benefit for psychology and audiology services, covering the common tinnitus and hyperacusis testing associated with evaluating a patient for misophonia. Such health plans are available during the open enrollment period and can act in supplement of a Medicare advantage plan. It is important when opting for any private health insurance to make sure that it’s accepted by members of your care team to avoid spending too much out of your own pocket.