Some­thing to chew over…

Focus-Science and Technology - - Reply -

My wife has been close to at­tack­ing me at meal times re­cently due to the noises I make while eat­ing. So it was in­ter­est­ing to learn (March, p17) that there is a name for her ‘af­flic­tion’ – miso­pho­nia.

So, in a sim­i­lar vein to He­len Cz­erksi, I’ve been ex­per­i­ment­ing with cer­tain food­stuffs to find out which cause the worst re­ac­tions. Loud foods like crisps sur­pris­ingly had no ef­fect, yet eat­ing chicken and the re­sult­ing ‘click­ing’ noise be­tween my teeth in­voked a cat­a­clysmic re­ac­tion. I would love to un­der­stand more about the sci­ence be­hind what causes the noises, why it makes my wife want to kill me and what foods should be avoided. Hope­fully you can help save my mar­riage! Paul Mel­lor, St Al­bans

Miso­phones have their own unique trig­gers. For some it’s crunchy crisps, oth­ers slurpy milk­shakes. The noises are largely down to some­one’s mouth and tooth shape and chew­ing ac­tion, so short of chomp­ing more softly there’s not much you can do. Sci­en­tists are yet to come up with an ef­fec­tive treat­ment, so in the mean­time I sug­gest you in­vest in some ear de­fend­ers and keep your wife away from the steak knives! – Jason Goodyer, com­mis­sion­ing ed­i­tor

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