Are you extremely bothered by certain sounds?

That is called misophonia.

It has been an official condition for several years now.

The Dutch psychiatrist Nienke Vulink won the Ig Nobel Prize for her research into misophonia on 17 September, for research that first makes you laugh and then makes you think.

Do you suffer from misophonia?

Take the test at Quest

The sound of someone sinking their teeth into an apple provokes acute feelings of anger in some people.

Concentrating is no longer an option until the apple is gone.

And if someone is sitting nearby with a bowl of popcorn in the cinema, the fun is over.

It is very annoying for people who suffer from this.

Precisely because others cannot understand what is so bad about cracking or smacking.

For a while there has been a term for the condition: misophonia.

Psychiatrist Nienke Vulink, like her colleague Damiaan Denys, often saw the Amsterdam UMC at the outpatient clinic with hypersensitivity to sounds.

Both dived into literature.

"It had never been described before," says Vulink.

"People were told not to put themselves forward."

In 2009 they started their research into the condition, which was called misophonia.

The Amsterdam UMC now has the only misophony treatment program in the world.

Irritation, anger and disgust

"The main characteristic of misophonia is an extreme preoccupation with specific sounds, which acutely evoke very bad irritation, anger and disgust," says Vulink.

"It often manifests itself in childhood, and a sound from a specific family member often turns out to be the starting point."

It's not just about the sound itself, it also matters who makes the sound.

An adult who eats an apple provokes anger, but a child who does not.

Simply because the relative lack of eating habits for animals and children is still normal. "

Some children eat alone in their room, so they don't hear eating noises.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Pot of chips is not an option

Misophonia can make your life miserable.

Vulink: "If a child can only listen to the breathing of a classmate and thus ruin the test, it becomes unworkable. If someone moves to a remote houseboat to escape certain noises, it has a significant impact on their life."

Vulink sees especially in children up to the age of twelve that it can also manifest itself in aggression.

"They can get so angry that they hit walls or become verbally aggressive. In some families, children eat alone in their room, just to avoid eating noises."

Raising your nose sounds like sliding open a curtain

How do you get rid of misophonia?

In group therapy at the Amsterdam UMC, patients learn to hear the hated sounds differently.

For example, the sound of someone pulling their nose is a bit like sliding a curtain open.

And apple sound?

"Try to pretend you hear paper tearing," says psychologist Bernadette Blom, who leads the sessions.

You can also learn to make a positive or neutral association with your misophonia sound.

Think of your little niece when it comes to cracking chips, if she doesn't bother you when she eats chips.

The other components that are covered are relaxation training and attention training.

In the latter, patients learn to shift their attention from the sound to the task at which they are engaged.

Creaking chips can be a noise that very irritates people with misophonia.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Keep practicing

The family is also involved in the treatment.

Blom: "Many family members like to be able to tell what it is like for them. And they get an explanation about what misophonia is, and what will happen in the treatments."

They will come along again in a later meeting.

Can the patient, for example, be able to focus on a task, while a family member makes a misophonia sound?

Treatment is not a guarantee for success.

"But you see that fifty to 60 percent of the patients have a significant decrease in complaints," says Vulink.

"They just have to keep practicing."

Do you suffer from misophonia?

Take the test at Quest