Misophonia is hypersensitivity to particular sounds. The sensory torture of the humming fridge; the distant rumble of a tractor; an electricity generator; the very low thrumming of a car parked outside the house with its engine still turning over, the sound of someone repeatedly swallowing their drink (gag), chewing their food (gag gag), the inexplicable very high pitched squeal coming from the TV, not to mention the internal agony of tinnitus. It makes us want to scream, whatever those sounds are for each of us.

These sounds are often so quiet to others that they struggle to even identify them while we’re busy bouncing off the walls because we can’t take any more. We may feel utterly repulsed or angry to the point of losing control. This auditory sensory overload causes stress, meltdowns, a complete inability to concentrate on the task in hand and so much more. It is miserable.

Misophonia is not autism. Many autistic people suffer with misophonia, which is not surprising, given that so many of us have hypersensitivity to sound. Some claim that that Tourette’s, OCD and other anxiety-related disorders increase the chances of having misophonia. One thing is certain, if you have it, you’ll know you have after you read this. That’s little comfort, other than being able to at least put a name to it and know that others out there know how excruciating it is.

This won’t help with tinnitus, but I can highly recommend using Loop earplugs. I have numerous pairs. Some block out all sound, some block out background noise so that we can focus on a conversation, some block out the boom at concerts, allowing us to still enjoy the music. I’m not on commission here, I mention them because they, and my noise cancelling headphones, have revolutionised my life. (If you have small ear canals, try the kids’ ones!): Loop earplugs