Getting angry about people chewing loudly is a genuine condition

Getting angry about people chewing loudly is a genuine condition

There are few things as annoying in life as loud chewers. The noise of someone's lips slapping together while they gnaw a bit of food is as infuriating and skin-crawling as nails on a chalkboard, or styrofoam squeaking. However, if, like me, you are someone who gets wound up by this noise, it turns out that you are not alone and that this is completely acceptable. Not only this, but it also is a legitimate condition and even has a name.

Not being able to stand the noise of loud eaters is called Misophonia, which, in layman's terms, translates to the "hatred of sound."

Of course, this doesn't mean you hate all sounds, it just means that particular noises will grind your gears. Whether it's sloppy eaters, heavy breathing, coughing and sneezing or just simply the sound of Channing Tatum's voice, there are a host of different noises that might make you see red.

According to researchers and Newcastle University, the condition is a genuine abnormality. Scientists scanned the brains of 42 people - 20 who suffered from Misophonia and 22 who didn't - to find out what makes the condition occur.

While in the MRI scanner, the participants were played a range of different noises, whether it be rain or unpleasant sounds such as screaming and the trigger sounds that people had written down.

The researchers then published the results in the journal Current Biology and revealed that the anterior insular - the part of the brain that joins our senses with our emotions - was overly active during periods of Misophonia.

"They are going into overdrive when they hear these sounds, but the activity was specific to the trigger sounds not the other two sounds," Dr Sukhbinder Kumar from Newcastle University said.

"The reaction is anger mostly, it's not disgust. The dominating emotion is the anger - it looks like a normal response, but then it is going into overdrive."

According to the BBC, Olana Tansley-Hancock, a participant who has suffered from the condition since she was eight years old, struggles with sounds such as breathing and eating. "I feel there's a threat and get the urge to lash out - it's the fight or flight response," she said.

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

"It's not a general annoyance, it's an immediate 'Oh my God, what is that sound?' I need to get away from it or stop it'."

Olana went on to say that she has had to avoid going to the cinema as she cannot deal with the popcorn chewing and annoying voices inside the theatre.

She told BBC News: "I spent a long time avoiding places like the cinema. I'd have to move carriages seven or eight times on 30-minute train journeys, and I left a job after three months as I spent more time crying and having panic attacks than working."

So there you have it - you're not a stress-head, you genuinely are suffering from a legitimate condition.