View Full Version : The Sound of Chewing!

06-19-06, 12:09 AM
My daughter (13) cannot tolerate anyone chewing around her or drinking beverages around her. I wondering if anyone can offer any suggestions on how to deal with this. Is this common? She resorts to mimicking everyone in the house, and we all feel self-conscious about eating now. Any help would be appreciated.

06-19-06, 10:16 AM
My daughter (13) cannot tolerate anyone chewing around her or drinking beverages around her. I wondering if anyone can offer any suggestions on how to deal with this. Is this common? She resorts to mimicking everyone in the house, and we all feel self-conscious about eating now. Any help would be appreciated.

My 16 yo is like this and it drives me nuts... :eek:

I have a jaw that clicks when I chew some foods. She yells at me not to chew. She will not be able to eat if she hears someone chewing or swallow she says it makes her feel sick.

I can't offer any advice, sorry

Matt S.
06-19-06, 11:58 AM
I hate the sound of slobby loud eaters and slurpers ugh right now I am at a library PC and there's this girl at the PC slobbering gum like a cow chewing cud and she's slamming on that keyboard so bad I can't even keep my train of thought and waiting for medicine to take effect...

06-19-06, 01:43 PM
I cannot stand the noises of eating and drinking, it sends chills down my spine, and sets me off. I have been this way as long as I can rememeber. I used to yell at me family and friends like your daughter. Now I do my best and leave the table or room when it is so bad for me. I know it is just me because the rest of familyis not bothered by it. I am over thirty years old and I am still working on this!

06-28-06, 09:31 PM
I'm the same way about having people chew or even yawn around me...drives me nuts. I started to pray that I would be nicer to my family and I think it helped. Also, when something like chewing bothers me I try to wait a second before I react to make sure I want to react and much of the time I don't.

06-29-06, 06:49 PM
most sounds an tast sight makes me feel sike cos the over wellmoeing stitioans yawning i can shrg that one off THE TV an other things drive me mad though dorm

07-08-06, 10:10 PM
Yeah, I think my ADD causes me to pay 'hyer-attention' to certain things. I just got home from the movies. There was a kid three rows back eating popcorn with his mouth open. Things like this drive me crazy. I hate the sound of people breathing through their mouth and eating with their mouth open.

I am trying to take a deep breath and count to ten and let these things slide off my back, but, it's so hard for me.

It is nice to hear that I am not alone.

07-09-06, 04:21 AM
I have the same problem! I'm 21 and this has been one of my greatest struggles for quite a while. Chewing, swallowing and, throats, and sniffling drive me CRAZY! I know what you all mean...I feel like I'm going to explode, it's painful to my earts! It makes it very hard to eat at the dinner table with my family or eat with my boyfriend. This problem really upsets my family and they don't understand at all. Playing music while we're eating helps me a lot, but still requires effort on my part.

07-09-06, 11:43 AM
Yeah, I forgot to mention sniffing. I agree that background music helps. Also, I found lighting some candles helps, even though I can still hear the sounds, the melodic flow of candle-light seems to ease my hyper-focusing.

I can't express to you enough just how much of a relief it is to see that other people are sensitive to these sounds. I always thought I was crazy or something. :D

Desert Dweller
10-13-06, 11:06 PM
Whoa! I thought I was the only one! I cannot stand to hear people chew ice, chips, mouth open, breath while eating.....the list goes on. I doesn't make me sick but I irratates me almost to rage! I can't even stand to hear myself eat chips sometimes.

The only thing I can do is walk away or put headphones on. I try so hard not to say anything but my husband can tell just by the look on my face. But yu know it does not happend every single meal...hmmmmm.... I wonder if it only bothers me when I am tired or already irratated. :rolleyes:

10-14-06, 03:46 PM
Music can help soothe the ADD beast. I have some similar sensitivities, but I find that if we play music that I really enjoy listening to, I hear the music more than the other noises.

10-18-06, 04:22 AM
heh... my wife has bad allergies... in the warmer months she has constant sniffles... While I know she can't help it, it still really gets on my nerves. When it gets to be too much, I'll get up and get her an allergy pill... which sometimes makes her mad... because she can tell I'm annoyed... but hey.. it's her or me... ;)

That's ok... She can't stand when I crunch ice... and I do it all the time... until she starts unconsciously grinding her teeth... then I know I have to stop or face the consequences of a lonely nite.:eek:

10-19-06, 02:49 AM
My daughter (13) cannot tolerate anyone chewing around her or drinking beverages around her. I wondering if anyone can offer any suggestions on how to deal with this. Is this common? She resorts to mimicking everyone in the house, and we all feel self-conscious about eating now. Any help would be appreciated.
Reply: I am an adult and I cannot stand the sound of chewing. I put ear plugs in = I can still hear most conversations but it cuts out the chewing sounds. At the movies when someone is chewing behind me I stick my fingers in my ears until they are done (if I forget my ear plugs). It's just a sensitivity to sounds. I am musical and I work at a job where I am on the phones and I tend to pick up more conversational nuances than most customer service agents.

10-19-06, 11:05 AM
I don't think this is actually an ADD thing, just a personality thing. I'm the non-ADD spouse in our household and it drives me nuts to listen to my husband eat or drink. It sends me into about the same silent rage as someone cutting you off in traffic.

I am a parent of two, and didn't start feeling this way until about 2 or 3 years ago. If you don't mind bending the household rules a bit, here's what I do: Try watching a sitcom together during dinner so her mind can be on something else. Or try letting her eat in a different room. You can make up the family time together after dinner, helping her do homework or at bedtime.

Just remember that to her it's very real, very aggravating, and may be making her sick to her stomach. It also may be very temporary,...something she can outgrow or learn in time to accomodate by herself (she's gonna have to if she ever wants to date ;0) )

11-10-06, 10:09 PM
any nose thats unwellcome makes me itralable an seeing red so i know what you mean dorm

12-09-06, 05:31 PM
I can't tell you how relieved I was to read this. Myself and my brothers and my sister have always been a nightmare with over sensitivity to the sound of crunching or any 'eating noises'. It has caused so many problems with family meals and I always thought that we had somehow 'learned' this behaviour from my Dad, who is awful too. My poor Mum could never understand what was going on with us all........I have 4 children and 2 of them have the same problem and both are ADHD. The 2 that aren't don't understand it either. Makes me think it must be an ADHD thing?

12-10-06, 04:45 PM
OH MY GOSH!!!! This is so cool - learning that I'm not alone on some of this stuff!!

I usually get up from the table.

If my husband comes in chewing ice, I just glare @ him - he knows I can't STAND that sound.

12-23-06, 12:42 AM
I hate the sound of chewing as well. I suggest getting her some noise cancelling headphones. I use them, and I can still hear conversation, just not the chewing.

12-23-06, 12:16 PM
Ha!, I thought I was crazy!

I especially hate the sound of croutons crunching!

Another one is when people slurp their soup. Drives me nuts. :rolleyes:

Desert Dweller
01-26-07, 06:58 PM
Ah yes slupring! My DH slups his coffee when it is hot... Also eating salad is a double whammy crunches croutons and slups the itailian salad dressing off the fork when he eats it...aghhhhh:mad:

Just last night I was laying on my bed watching TV and he comes in with his drink plops down next to me and starts chewing ice. Like WTH???? He can't remember not to do that around me... it makes me sooooooo irratated and I make such a big deal about it all the time.

I would rather hear nails on a chalkboard than someones eating noises!

01-28-07, 11:35 PM
It drives me MAD!!! I can't eat around other people at all, I just want to smack anybody I hear chewing. Been that way my whole life.

01-29-07, 01:39 AM
My daughter (13) cannot tolerate anyone chewing around her or drinking beverages around her. I wondering if anyone can offer any suggestions on how to deal with this. Is this common? She resorts to mimicking everyone in the house, and we all feel self-conscious about eating now. Any help would be appreciated.

Hmmm this is sensory issues I guess it fits. I canít stand to hear or SEE people eating with their mouths open. Others have given such excellent advice I canít think of a thing to add.

Except I have problems with certain other sounds that I find more irritating than chewing. I have a hard time with slurping, Gary thankfully does his coffee slurping in another room.

I canít stand to hear my animals licking, or chewing on them selves. Every one of them knows to stop and remove them selves from my presence when I yell ďstop itĒ. . . . .ya know cats even understand after a while. (slipper chunck)

I what make me feel ill is ďharkingĒ like trying to hack up phlem. . . . .oh jeez!

I donít know if it ADD or not but I have very sensitive hearing. I can hear people talking on Garyís cell phone from across the room. . . . . .I canít do casinos the buzzing, and dinging bouncing off all the walls. . . . . .the first week or so of American Idol can be rather painful also. I am with Dorm on this one the TV sound can bother me if it is up loud. Although the newer ones are better they still have a whine which prevents me from being able to sleep with them on in the same room

01-29-07, 01:57 PM
Does having an annoyance of people eating, or chewing... or rustling in their popcorn bags and shoving popcorn into their mouths constitute ADD?

Desert Dweller
01-29-07, 02:21 PM

I wouldn't say that it constitutes ADD. My son is inattentive and does not have "sound" issues. I am sure there are non-add people out there that have an adversion to certin sounds.

ADD people are just lucky enough to be able to pay attention to serveral things at the same time. The chewing rustling slurping just may be in the range of sound that irrataes certain ADDers.


08-16-07, 05:01 AM
Whenever possible I find excuses to eat in solitude, especially when I'm in the company of someone that can't shut his or her damn mouth. When I was younger I would imitate the offenders chewing to exaggerated effect but that would just offend.

For the interested, the concept that we are alluding to is related to latent inhibition.

From wikipedia:

Latent inhibition is a process by which exposure to a stimulus, of little or no consequence, prevents conditioned associations with that stimulus being formed. The ability to disregard or even inhibit formation of memory, by preventing associative learning of observed stimuli, is an automatic response and is thought to prevent information overload. Latent inhibition is observed in many species, and is believed to be an integral part of the observartion/learning process, to allow the 'self' to interact successfully in a social environment.
Most people are able to shut out the constant stream of incoming stimuli, but those with low latent inhibition cannot.


Alright my ADHD friends, so why is this important?

Abnormal latent inhibition and impulsivity in coloboma mice, a model of ADHD - Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity. The coloboma mouse model of ADHD exhibits profound hyperactivity. To determine whether coloboma mice exhibit other signs of ADHD, we assessed latent inhibition as a test of attention, and impulsivity in a delayed reinforcement paradigm. Latent inhibition was present in control mice but was disrupted in coloboma mice. Coloboma mice also exhibited impaired performance on the delayed reinforcement task and were not able to wait as long as control mice to obtain the greater reinforcer. Because norepinephrine mediates hyperactivity in coloboma mice, we examined the role of norepinephrine in disrupted latent inhibition and impulsivity.
In summary, coloboma mice exhibit hyperactivity, inattention as determined by latent inhibition, and impulsivity, and norepinephrine mediates hyperactivity and inattention but not impulsivity in these mice.

Go over to the Strattera sub-forum and you'll notice that people celebrate the ability of the drug to enhance their selective attention. What does Strattera do? It re-uptakes norepinephrine. It regulates latent inhibition.

Latent inhibition is also correlated with creativity, btw:

10-23-07, 02:14 AM
I have been struggling with this as long as I can remember. I have lost relationships over this and feel like I am struggling through a horrible curse for my entire juvenile and adult life.

I have friends who, to me, seems like they are eating like pigs. I have one friend who chugs his drinks with such extreme volume that you
could hear his awful gulping sounds two rooms away. Another friend eats so incredibly loudly (even with his mouth closed) that I just want to club him with a baseball bat!

Even today, the reason I am on this board is that my g/f has decided (once again) to eat loud, crunchy, distracting food right before bedtime. The worst part is, despite the innumerable times I have BEGGED her not to eat loud crunchy food near bedtime, she continues to do so.

I think the problem is that she has no idea what is going on, as this doesn't affect her whatsoever, so she forgets. The sad part is that it sends me off so much, that I end up going to a different part of the house, sequestering myself sometimes for hours until I grudgingly go to bed.

Sometimes the reaction is severe: I get a headache, feel nauseated
and get very very angry.

I tell everyone the same thing: While it might be a hassle for them (my immediate mood swings and repeated requests for them to "eat quieter"), it is FAR worse for me. I'm stuck with it every single day of my life - they'll never know what it is like.

Well, knowing that this is a condition that others have struggled with makes life marginally better as now I can pursue some course of mitigation.

Although, sitting here and typing this, I am tortured by the sound of her crunching running over and over in my head - I just can't seem to kill it once it's in there. I hate that it alters me for minutes to hours afterward.


11-21-07, 12:33 AM
It could be "misophonia", related to "hyperacusis".

(a) Individuals whose hearing sensitivity is focused on eating/chewing sounds: Some individuals are not sensitive to loud sounds (in other words they have normal loudness discomfort levels - LDL's) but they are unable to tolerate the sound of people eating or chewing. Oddly enough they have no problem tolerating the sound of their own eating.

These individuals have a difficult time eating with their family and friends and some insist on eating all by themselves. They become enraged at meals and sometimes even start to shake or convulse. This is not hyperacusis.

The patients primary goal would be to neutralize the dislike they have on eating sounds. Most of these individuals live very normal lives with the only exception of being unable to tolerate all the dynamics of other people eating. Often these individuals have been unsuccessful finding any information about this condition.
The Hyperacusis Network:

Message Board post on Misophonia:

Post on eating noises:

04-16-09, 12:34 AM
The sound of people eating drives me crazy too, I want to get up and leave and it puts me in a horrible mood. I feel bad about it too. My dad eats horribly, i can hear the mushy food between his tongue and the roof of his mouth and it is some of the sickest **** ever.

I don't know what causes that, but I would just treat your daughter like someone who has a mental disease that you shouldn't eat close to her. I wish people would not be close to me when they were eating, I would really appreciate that. I'm sure it's nothing against your family personally, I bet the sound just drives her crazy.

04-16-09, 05:57 AM
These things don't bother me at all; but I had a colleague (no ADD, and she was incredibly focused) who was extremely upset by this. She ended up getting yelling and in tears at a colleague who was eating yogurt at her desk (scraping the container with a spoon). Unfortunately the yogurt eating colleague did not GET that she was bothering her so much; she could have just gone and finished it in the break room. but she wouldn't, even after being asked politely several times...anyway it was a very unpleasant incident. I don't think it has much to do with ADD.

04-16-09, 10:29 AM
this is why i hate how our school lets people chew gum! its gross!

04-16-09, 11:23 AM
This has a name: soft sounds hypersensitivity syndrome. You can find info at the hyperacusis network board.

I have this too. It gets worse if I am tired. Strattera seemed to increase the problem for me, whereas Ritalin did not, so maybe it has something to do with noradrenaline.

04-16-09, 02:03 PM
ahhhhhhhH! it drives me insane! my roommate is one of the worst chewers i have heard! it has gotten to the point where i HAVE to leave the room. i feel really irritated when i hear that awful noise. part of me wants to go on a yelling rant telling them why it is so disgusting, that their mother raised them horribly, how much it annoys me, and.....its nasty! if i see anyone chewing with their mouth open i go through the same thougts, even if they are 50 yards away. its more like i feel the sound!

04-17-09, 01:51 AM
Yeah, it's hard. It's not (in these cases) a personality thing - I think that should be made clear. For me, it totally fluctuates throughout the day, and it's really bad when I'm coming off stimulants. I know it's something out of my control because it's so ridiculous - it has a few good sides too - you can hear *everything*. If you were worried about hearing someone breaking in when you're in that mode, you'd be good to go.

I was actually wondering if anyone else found that it happened more often when coming down from stimulants (dexedrine IR in this case) - and if there was anything that could help. I just don't want to snap at my wife for doing something that's pretty standard. She's not the quietest eater, but the thing is - I'm not nearly as annoyed by it in other times of the day.

Does drinking a beer, for example help? I mean anything, really, is welcome.

mADD mike
04-17-09, 11:31 AM
Wow, is there anything I can't learn about on these forums.

I am close to 32 years old, and I have battled this since I was very young. To make things worse, I grew up with a family that has no manners when it came to eating. My wife loves crunchy foods, but eats them away from me.

I get in an absolute rage over this kind of stuff. I don't want to, but it puts me in a bad mood for hours. Trying to deal with it has given me headaches. Thank God I'm not the only person like this. I'm sorry that you guys deal with it as well, but I just thought I was some sort of freak.

I'll be researching some of these terms for it later, but for now, it seems that I've found my people, once again, on the ADD forums. Thank you so much for this thread!

04-17-09, 04:43 PM
this makes me actually shake with anger and i feel i either must literally rip their mouth off their face and ply all their teeth out, or else just burst into tears. sorry if thats graphic but actually is how much people eating, chewing loudly, mouths open, sniffing snorting and all the rest bother me.

as a child i was a bit like your daughter. i used to go to school and couldnt physically eat lunch with others. i would actually heave and start to gag and wretch, id get tearful and angry. i shout at people who simply through pure bad social and table manners feel the need to display this process of digestion-i have no wish to see OR hear what anyone is eating! is it not simpler and requires less energy to keep your mouth shut while eating!

i grew out of the heaving and wretching stage eventually but it still enrages me as you may have guessed. im not sure how youd fix it. i still shout at my family, even when their mouths arent open i shout if i can hear it. i used to put the fear of god into my little brother at breakfast-he'd eat cornflakes which are impossible not to crunch but i would not let him-so he'd have to sit and suck the cornflakes lol.

i may be slightly evil.......

sorry i cant offer any advice-thats just my experience.


04-24-09, 06:00 AM
drives me mad my mum dosnt stop eating! and because shes a little like me she cant sit still, shell be rubbing her fingers on her trouser leg, taking huge gulps when drinking, breathing heavily, and chewing with her mouth full
there have been times where id snatch the food from her hands and throw it across the room lol her face is a picture when i do that.
i can hear my dad in the other room munching away too, sometimes i have to cover my ears because its so unbearable!

04-24-09, 12:02 PM
im still disgusted by this, but its not as bad as when i was a child and teen anymore.

my mum and me used to get up at the same time when i was in primary school, and i formed a habit of just gulping some food down while my mother was in the bathroom for a few mins after she got up / woke me up. why? because i was so disgusted by anybody else's chewing sounds (not only my mother's, which was 'normal' really, nothing to be exeptionally disgusted about) that it'd make me too sick to eat if i was hearing it. after i even refused to eat in company (dinner), my parents gave up and i would take my food to my room to eat there alone.
i was disgusted by mouths in general though, even my own. if there was a print of my mouth on a glass (e.g. cuz i had been eating and drinking from it inbetween), i couldnt use it again because it disgusted me almost to the point of gagging. jeez, im glad this went away as i was an adolescent.

04-24-09, 12:31 PM
My D (16) has this also. She abhors sniffling and throat clearing, too, as well as people blowing their noses and mouth breathing. She has had this since a little tyke.

A question for you all: did ANY of you hear "noises" in your ears when you were younger? Or voices in your head? Not meaning to sound strange, but since a little girl my D heard arguing voices in her head all the time. She said they were very distracting, and they finally! left her when she was 10 or 11. But to this day, the sound of the car window, open, drives her nuts, the whish whish sound makes her very angry, as does the sound of tires on wet pavement.

05-18-09, 07:06 PM
The sound of other people chewing annoys EVERYONE!

If anyone was in a very quiet room and had to listen to someone eat they would not like it a bit. It is all a matter of degree

If the disgust at someone elses chewing is handled politely (use music headphones turning on the TV ,going in another room) this is acceptable behavior.
But mocking, yelling, and dramatics are actually all about CONTROL. And the "sensitivity" is an excuse to act like "the boss"

Kids, teens and sometimes adults,taking charge and putting others down for merely eating (be it polite or piggish does not matter!)

If family mealtimes are being enforced by a person who will not allow headphones to be worn or the sensitive person to be excused,
This is also about CONTROL as well and that person needs to respect the sensitive person's wishes if they don't want a battle for control.

And I am certain that many (but not all) of the sensitive people are actually far less annoyed by the noises when they are with people they feel a desire to impress or be accepted by.

The sound of 'someone else eating' bothers me most at the end of the day, when my Dex is wearing off . It makes me want to Scream! But that is just a side effect of amphetamines and I don't take it out on others. I find my own solutions.

06-22-09, 02:56 PM
I too suffer from this, I have the oppisite affect as well.. I was wondering if anyone else finds certain sounds very pleasurable?

06-22-09, 10:40 PM
The worst place for me is the movie theater.
So many popcorn eaters in there, it drives me insane with all that annoying eating/chewing/slurping/crackling noises.
I'd rather rent a movie and watch it at home.

06-23-09, 12:09 AM
I hate the sound of someone horking but I am never bothered and don't notice others eating unless it's extreme. My father makes some unusual grunting noises while eating, and at a family dinner my, at the time, three year old, sounding incredibly impressed said "Wow grandpa! You eat like a pig!" and no one said a word, of course my father laughed.

06-26-09, 11:06 AM
I will add another twist to this. My daughter who is 19 also cannot stand the sound of anyone chewing.....but guess what else she hates the sound of......kissing. I wonder if it is different if it is her kissing. I will have to ask.

06-30-09, 08:40 AM
i hate the sound of people chewing, i'm 14 and i've only this year started to get really annoyed when i am sitting next to someone chewing. i try to turn the radio up louder when i eat breakfast so that i dont have to hear my brother eat but my mum keeps turning the volume down. i can also hear my parents eating when thy're in the family room and i'm in my bedroom even if the tv or radio is turned on, it is very annoying

07-02-09, 02:54 AM
I can't STAND the sound of chewing. I hate it when people eat something soft like a bannana yet they feel the need to chomp all the way down over and over again and their teeth are constantly making that noise. THat sound *shiver*

Not only the sound of chewing bothers me but when people use silverware such as a fork and then take their teeth and move it across the fork to get their darn food

I need to leave now. I am getting all shivery LOL

08-23-09, 03:02 PM
My daughter has a problem with others sniffing, clearing their throat, sipping liquids and sucking on ice cube. She will copy the sound or exaggerate the sound that is bothering her. Is this normal? It appears that it is not unheard of in instances of ADD. She sometimes goes almost into a rage when a sound bothers her. Unforunately, my wife and I have misstaken this for acting out or some other action of disrespect. We were unaware until recently that she resents the fact that she can't stop. Apparently, copying the sound reduces her frustration somewhat, but not completely. She wants to stop; so she is willing to try some medication. She has taken some OCD meds with little effect. Anyone have had any success with anything?

10-02-09, 11:09 AM
IT DRIVES YOU NUTS? OH GOD LIFE MUST BE TOUGH! You have no idea what it is like for people who feel like it is torture to get out of bed every morning at the thought that they have to live with sound sensitivity! Your daughter is probably consumed by this and all you can say is that it drives you nuts. You didn't even bother asking if anyone knew how to help, or if there were others out there dealing with this. You disgust me!