Lifestyle

Do the Sounds of People Eating or Drinking Drive You Crazy?

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Listening to someone noisily chew their food is annoying to most people, but some say it’s absolutely unbearable. Eating, breathing or slurping sounds that bother listeners beyond irritation could be a sign that they have misophonia. KHOU says that until 2001, the hatred of sounds didn’t have a name, but therapists and scientists have discovered that the brains of people who have misophonia react differently to sounds during an MRI than those without the disorder.

Often, people with this issue particularly have an issue with mouth-related sounds, but the term extends to other noises as well. The listener reacts with emotion, anxiety, and panic to the stressors which can greatly inhibit their lives. Surprisingly, Dr. Leyendecker, a doctor of audiology, says that he sees about five new patients every month at Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic in Edina who have symptoms of misophonia.

Misophonia.com says that since an exact cause of the issue hasn’t been found, there isn’t one solution to suffering from misophonia. Hearing aids that produce a white noise can help some people to cope while going through therapy. Some methods include “tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) which teaches people to improve their ability to tolerate certain noises, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that involves changing negative thoughts that may help alleviate the adverse effects of a sound sensitivity.”