Have you ever gotten frustrated overhearing somebody chew their food or blow their nose? If you have, you aren’t alone.
Thanks to research and a study published in the Journal PLOS One, we now know that one out of five people are affected by a condition known as misophonia. That condition is defined as “a phenomenon that causes strong emotions and reactions to certain ‘trigger’ sounds.”
The study, which looked into 37 common triggers and 25 reactions, was done utilizing a questionnaire to individuals in the UK. It was meant to determine the extent of this problem, which a doctor from the department of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford says is more than just being annoyed at a sound.
Dr. Jane Gregory said in a statement: “The experience of misophonia is more than just being annoyed by a sound. Misophonia can cause feelings of helplessness and being trapped when people can’t get away from an unpleasant sound.”
Some of the different sounds that can trigger this condition include chewing food, heavy breathing, ticking clocks, pen clicking, dripping water, smacking lips, and rustling plastic or paper.
Some people experience distress, panic, and anger when they hear these sounds. They may experience a rapid heartbeat, or they could glare at the individual making the noise.
Some people who feel distressed after hearing these normal noises may recognize the condition because those noises don’t typically bother people. In addition, they don’t know what causes misophonia, but it is thought to be a combination of factors, including genetics, family history, and the structure of the brain.
Dr. Gregory went on to say that those with the condition sometimes feel bad about themselves for their reaction. That is especially true when it is a loved one making the sound.
He admits that more research is necessary to determine what can be done to help individuals that struggle with the condition.
18.4% of those surveyed suffered from this condition and had serious reactions. 2.3% felt they might have the condition, and 13.6% had never heard of it.
A lead author of the study, Dr. Silia Vitoratou, said in a press release: “We have shown that everyday sounds made by others negatively impact the lives of nearly 1 in 5 people in the UK.”
The doctor went on to say that many people didn’t recognize when they had the condition. They feel that the scale they developed can help to understand the condition better and give medical professionals the support they need to help those who suffer from it.SKM: below-content placeholder