Sometimes, even the simplest and most quiet sounds can make you the angriest. We all have those days when everything gets on our nerves. But, for some people, even thinking about hearing someone chew is making them sick. Hearing someone chew is one of those annoying sounds that people hate and makes their blood pressure rise. Although you think this is quite normal, it might be a sign of a brain abnormality and you need to check yourself at the doctor.
You are not alone if you are suffering from this condition. This brain abnormality is called misophonia according to researchers at Newcastle University.
Misophonia is a disorder where sufferers have a hatred of sounds such as eating, chewing, loud breathing or even repeated pen-clicking. As a matter of fact, this was first classified as a condition in 2001. According to a report in the journal Current Biology, scientists have revealed interesting discoveries. The 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. This causes their brains to go into overdrive on hearing the individual trigger sounds. When these people hear the sounds, it may increase their heart rates and cause excessive sweating as well.
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. During this, they were listening to various sounds. These sounds were categorized into neutral sounds such as rain, a busy café, or water boiling, or unpleasant sounds, defined as a baby crying or a person screaming. Then, there were trigger sounds as well, such as breathing or eating.
When people heard the trigger sounds, those with misophonia presented different results, unlike those without the condition.