Might airport neighbors suffer from MISOPHONIA?

airport misophonia faa
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Airport Misophonia

The FAA Might Want To Study “Noise Rage”

In 1983 when the FAA instituted a scatter plan test at National Airport, the Washington Post wrote a long informative article exploring this experiment and discussing the science called “psychoacoustics (indicating that an individual’s response to noise may correlate to the individual’s preconception of the source of noise as much as the actual objective measurement of the energy). A letter to the editor criticized the report with the line, “how dare you call me ‘psycho’”!!!

misophonia psychoacoustics

While abnormal behavior was not the point of the article, the response of the reader suggested that there may be an elevated sensitivity to certain sounds.

aircraft noise engine turbine

Further, it seems as though while aircraft noise has been reduced by virtue of new engine/turbine and hull technologies as well as benefiting from the greater lift of super critical wings (lifting planes more quickly upon departure), the level of neighbor complaints appears to have disproportionately increased in contrast to the expected noise decrease through these engineered ameliorations. The difference between forecast aircraft reductions and citizen reported negative perceptions has been attributed by observers to crabby neighbors.”

airport misophonia

Recent research may have discerned some correlation between certain sounds and “noise rage.” The phenomenon is called misophonia[1], literally “hatred of sound.”

airport misophonia

In 2000 scientists defined misophonia as a “condition in which negative emotions, thoughts, and physical reactions are triggered by specific sounds.” Other labels include “select sound sensitivity syndrome” and “sound-rage.” Misophonia has not been classified as an auditory, neurological, or psychiatric condition; so far, no standard diagnostic criteria have been defined. Neither the DSM-IV nor the ICD-10 has included misophonia listed in their referenced problem. Unfortunately, there is little research on its prevalence or treatment.

airport misophonia

Those who are familiar with this condition suggest it might adversely affect individuals’ abilities to achieve life goals or to enjoy social situations. The professionals, who have dealt with misophonia, believe that cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy may be the most efficacious remedial techniques. Another article lists five points as methods to deal with sound rage:

1) Know your noise sensitivity triggers

2) Think about when you are less noise-sensitive

3) Fill what is lacking in life

4) Re-tune your hearing

5) Overcome noise sensitivity with hypnosis

Perhaps, those who live close to airports may be suffering from misophonia. The aviation community and the FAA might want to sponsor further research of this condition and of possible curative techniques.


Misophonia: When Annoying Noises Send You Into A Rage

Overcome Noise Sensitivity

[1]Psychiatry: Bulletin Of Royal Australian And New Zealand College Of Psychiatrists, 24 (2): 195–197, doi:1177/1039856215613010, PMID26508801  Jump up to: a b c d e f Cavanna AE, Seri S (Aug 2015). "Misophonia: current perspectives". Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 11: 2117–23. doi:10.2147/NDT.S81438. PMC 4547634. PMID 26316758.
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