Being Annoyed By Noisy Eating Is A Genuine Condition

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There are endless things in life that annoy people to their very core, noisy eaters are one of those things.

Does the sound of somebody slapping their chops together, noisily chewing their food really get your goat?

Yeah, it gets mine.  Now, I try to live and let live, but there’s something about the sound of somebody eating I really cannot get on board with.

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As it turns out being annoyed by the sound of loud chewing is a genuine condition.

If, like me, you absolutely can’t deal with the sound of somebody eating, you could be one of the many, many people suffering from a genuine brain abnormality called Misophonia according to researchers at Newcastle University.

Misophonia is a disorder where sufferers have a hatred of sounds not only of somebody eating, and chewing, but loud breathing and even repeated pen-clicking.

According to a report in the journal, Current Biology, scientists have revealed scans of Misophonia sufferers showed changes in brain activity when a ‘trigger’ sound was heard.

The report also showed images of the brain where people with the condition have an abnormality in their emotional control mechanism – which causes their brains to go into overdrive on hearing the individual trigger sounds.

The sounds were also responsible for increasing the heart rate and amount some sufferers were sweating.

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Tim Griffiths, Professor of Cognitive Neurology at Newcastle University and UCL commented:

I was part of the sceptical community myself until we saw patients in the clinic and understood how strikingly similar the features are – I hope this will reassure sufferers.

For the study, the team used an MRI to measure the brain activity of people with and without Misophonia while they were listening to a range of sounds.

The sounds were categorised into neutral sounds such as rain, a busy café, or water boiling, unpleasant sounds, defined as a baby crying or a person screaming and then trigger sounds, such as breathing or eating.

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When presented with trigger sounds, those with Misophonia presented different results to those without the condition.

I’m triggered already just thinking about it.

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