Question: What is this allergy or aversion to certain noises/sounds called?
It’s called misophonia.
It literally translates as “hatred of sound”. Miso comes from the Ancient Greek for hate and phonia means sound.
Question: What do we know about it?
Actually very few studies of misophonia have been made. That’s one of the reasons I set up this site – to try and pool our collective knowledge and experiences into one place.
The more we can uncover about this condition the more we’ll be able to discover about how it works. Further evidence may lead to more scientific studies which may lead to possible treatments/coping strategies.
Question: How serious is it?
Misophonia seems to operate on a scale from mild to severe. So some sufferers might suffer medium/strong irritation at the ‘trigger’ sounds – but can ‘cope’. In other words they can still go about their day and take part in normal activities without having panic attacks. Others will experience a reaction so extreme that it may significantly affect relationships, their work life and in some (rare) cases may even lead to depression and even suicide.
Question: I think I suffer from misophonia, am I mad?
No. You just have super sensitive, super amazing (and often infuriating) antennae.