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Misophonia: Why eating sounds enrage some people


Misophonia: Why eating sounds enrage some peopleDoes the sound of people eating or breathing elicit a response from you that's perhaps a little over the top? If so, you're not alone and scientists have now discovered why some people react this way.

There's far more to the condition - misophonia - than simply disliking noises such as nails being scraped down a blackboard.

UK scientists have now discovered that some people's brains become hardwired over time to produce an "excessive" emotional response to otherwise normal actions.

Olana Tansley-Hancock, 29, from Kent, developed misophonia when she was eight years old. For her, the sound of people eating and breathing and rustling noises trigger her condition.

"I feel there's a threat and get the urge to lash out - it's the fight or flight response," Olana told the BBC.

"Anyone eating crisps is always going to set me off, the rustle of the packet is enough to start a reaction."

Publishing the findings of their study in the journal Current Biology, the scientists said people with misophonia have overtly active anterior insular cortexes - the part of our brains that joins our senses with our emotions.

There is currently no treatment for misophonia and it is still not clear how common the condition is because there is still no definitive way to diagnose it.