Just a little background... When the rep originally visited me at the office this past Monday, he made a comment about how the noise masking system is good to focus masking noise at me while I'm sitting at my desk, but it seemed like people with misophonia would need a noise masking device that would go wherever the person went. I mentioned to him my having been introduced to a brown-noise, in ear "hearing aid" devices when I was first diagnosed, to which the rep commented that he thought he remembered seeing something about a system used by some schools and theaters that integrates copper coils within a room's architecture to enable the audio from a teacher's microphoned presentation to target a student's hearing aid frequency directly. Doing this, would allow the student to hear the presentation without all the distracting surrounding noise in the background. It sounded just like what we misophonia sufferers need! The rep didn't remember the name of the system at the time, but he promised me that he'd forward the information once he found it. Sure enough, that's what he did last night!
The website he forwarded to me was HearingLoop.org. It looks like a really interesting system and they even listed locations where the system has been installed all around the country. I know I've read posts on other websites by many parents whose children struggle with their misophonia at school. It seems like these systems could really help school-aged misophonia sufferers.
The rep also wrote in his email that he had spoken with a speech therapist who works with traumatic brain injury victims. The therapist commented that misophonia sounded like "Central Auditory Processing Disorder" (sometimes referred to as "dyslexia for the ears" and added that her clients with that disorder has similar frustration with background noises. The rep added though that when he researched the disorder online, he felt that it's very different from misophonia. I haven't had a chance to look it up myself but when he wrote that, I remembered someone once telling me that misophonia sounds like something his friend's child has called "Sensory Integration Syndrome." I hope to have a bit of breathing room to look into both of those conditions for comparison. (I still think every bit of information helps, whether to find similarities or differences between misophonia and other conditions.)
As far as my testing of the Sonet sound masking devices that the rep loaned me... So far, it's been quite an interesting experience. I honestly was a bit pessimistic that they'd help my overly acute hearing but I was quite impressed by how effective they are. For the most part, I’ve been playing them pretty loudly, which blocks most of the sounds around me, but was very surprised to find that I could walk on the other side of the cubicle wall and not hear them at all. I usually felt like I have to turn the volume down when someone comes to talk to me at my desk or if I’m on a conference call, which was the one time I heard a soda can opening, but for the most part… I haven’t felt a need to wear my earbuds or earplugs while at my desk. The rep is allowing me to hold onto the system a little bit longer though. I made a comment to him that this week may not have been a good week to test the system since so many people have been out of the office for an extended holiday. We'll see what happens when the office is more populated (which means I'd be exposed to more triggers.)