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Reasons Behind Certain Noises Irritating Some People

Of the numerous sounds we hear day in and day out, some sounds can be very irritating. But why certain noises really irritate some people? If you ask anyone, they will undoubtedly be able to recall a time when they were annoyed by a certain noise or sound. But in some cases, some people are just unable to bear certain noises and need to get away from it as soon as possible. This sound can be that of writing on a blackboard with a chalk or someone sitting near you clicking his or her pen continuously or any noise for that matter.

The reason behind certain noises really irritating some people is that such people suffer from a brain disorder known as misophonia. When suffering from this disorder, the person has immense hate for a certain noise which can be anything at all. Such a noise triggers a very strong response of ‘fight or flight’ in the patient.

Reasons Behind Certain Noises Irritating Some People

Studies on Reasons Behind Certain Noises Irritating Some People

A study involving the brain scan of 20 people suffering from misophonia was conducted recently. Along with it, a brain scan was also conducted on 22 other people who were absolutely healthy. This study helped revealed the reason for such a reaction. The problem was that when a person hears the trigger sounds, the abnormality in their emotional control mechanism forces the brain to get exhausted thereby causing irritation. Moreover, the brain activities of people who suffer from misophonia begin from a different pattern of connectivity found in the frontal lobe and is not the same as normal individuals.

Along with the mental stress, certain noises also have a physical effect on the patient of misophonia. On hearing a certain noise, the heart rate can increase and the person may also start sweating immensely.

In normal people, the frontal lobe works in a manner to suppress an abnormal or weird behavior to a specific sound which is why they are able to bear any kind of sound without getting irritated. But, this is not the case in people with misophonia and that is why certain noises really irritate some people.

What Do Researchers Have to Say About Such Studies?

Researchers have a lot many reasons to answer the question of why certain noises can really be irritating for some people. They believe that such findings will help give way to improvised treatment methods for this condition. It is also being suggested that such studies will make researchers look for changes in the brain which are similar to this problem but prevalent in other disorders and often linked with emotional reactions which are not normal in nature.

Another factor which is pointed out by researchers is that this is the very first time when a study has been able to distinguish between the structure of the brain and its function in misophonia patients. Such patients experience very similar symptoms and signs of the disorder but even then it has not been detected in the recent diagnostic schemes which have been carried out all over the nation. These are very critical brain changes which support the belief that misophonia is a genuine disorder and needs to be further analyzed in detail.

This condition seems to be related to a problem similar to sensory issues, where there is an imbalance in passage of brain signals. Just as some people are oversensitive to certain stimuli, certain noises may develop changes in their nerve signals to the brain. This may explain the abnormal behavior due to overstimulation, which is presented in the form of oversensitivity to certain noises. This is possibly why certain noises really irritate some people.

Some people may also experience this increased sensitivity after an episode of illness, infection or injury, particularly accidents. People who have had traumatic situations in life may be at an increased risk of being overstimulated by some noises. These are possibly some other reasons behind certain noises really irritating some people.

Therapies that work towards calming the senses, like yoga, meditation relaxation therapies and even counseling in persons who have experienced traumatic situations can help. With appropriate treatment and regular practice of relaxation techniques, it is possible to modify the abnormal reaction to certain noises. However, more research is required in this area.


Now that we know misophonia and changes in the nerve signals to be the reason behind certain noises really irritating some people, this problem can be dealt better. Though it will take some more time for researchers to study it as a separate disease and give due attention to it, researchers hope that patients suffering from this disease will soon be able to get all the help they need while new medicines and alternate therapies will be introduced thereby allowing to control it to a large extent.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3892034/ – A study on the neural basis of misophonia and its relation to abnormal emotional control mechanisms.
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/misophonia-misophonia/201907/misophonia-and-the-brain – An article discussing the connection between misophonia and the brain.
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320682 – Information on misophonia symptoms, causes, and potential treatments.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 7, 2023

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