Phonophobia: Fear of certain sounds

Phonophobia Fear of certain sounds



It is common to observe situations in which people express some displeasure or annoyance in relation to a specific noise . When this discomfort exceeds normal levels and affects the individual’s routine, then it is called a case of phonophobia.

It often happens that a relationship is established between the power of the sound and the appearance of psychopathy, but this is a mistake.


That is, phonophobia is the inability of a person to tolerate certain sounds ( metal colliding with each other, someone chewing with an open mouth, among other examples ) because they act as a trigger for an anxiety disorder that they cannot control, but cannot they must necessarily be strong.

Although people tend to dislike certain noises, this does not necessarily represent a disorder.

To be able to speak of phonophobia, the person must feel a disproportionate, inexplicable fear or anger that does not allow them to continue developing their activities naturally.

Due to the low incidence rate of this psychopathy, it was given little importance and some doctors did not even consider it.

Currently, several studies have shown that phonophobia ( also known as misophonia ) is completely real and can amplify negative thoughts and emotions for the affected individual.

This disorder is repeatedly related to hyperacusis ( which is the annoyance or fear towards fearful or very loud noises ), but the reality is that they are two completely different situations.

The hyperacusis occurs due to a hypersensitivity in the auditory pathways, so the noise of fireworks or appliances with high volume can cause discomfort in those who suffer.

On the other hand, when speaking of phonophobia the sounds should not be loud or powerful to disturb the person.


As occurs in most phobias, the symptoms presented when suffering from phonophobia are characteristic in an anxiety condition: repulsion towards the feared, anger, acceleration of the heart and respiratory rate, excessive sweating and some others.

As is common in this type of disorder, one of the main symptoms is the avoidance of the feared object.

It is not enough simply to feel a slight discomfort due to a sound, but the discomfort must be so powerful that, in the worst case, the person could structure their entire routine based on avoidance; it could even lead to isolation.

It should be noted that phonophobia can occur due to an association of the feared noise with a bad experience or with negative thoughts.

On the other hand, if one speaks of hyperacusis then the problem lies in an altered perception of the power of sound.


Specialists have shown that the best technique for managing phonophobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy .

Through this treatment, the therapist gives the affected person the necessary tools to control the anxiety disorder by himself, and later it is sought to replace the negative emotions inherent in fear with positive sensations.

In the case of hyperacusis , the application of gradual exposure treatment works best. Through this therapy, the affected person is exposed to the feared sounds, so that they can get used to them little by little.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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