KELLY RIPA is struggling with a rare and incurable neurological disorder that’s causing a terrible strain on her and her family!
The perky “Live!” host, 42, admits that even the sounds of her family chewing and swallowing make her “insane” and can send her into a rage.
But an insider says her devoted husband Mark Consuelos is battling to keep Kelly’s self-diagnosed condition, known as misophonia, in check.
“Kelly says that her anxiety level increases considerably when she’s exposed to certain sounds,” divulged a longtime friend. “Her condition is getting worse and she’s prone to sudden reactions of intense anger and annoyance, usually triggered by a noise made by Mark or somebody close by.
“It may sound funny but it’s not! Kelly can become enraged at anyone for something as simple as chewing with their mouth open. Mark has to remain calm and explain to the people that Kelly isn’t really mad at them. It’s something she just can’t control, but it’s led to yelling and screaming…and tears.”
The source also “suspects” that downtown noise was part of the reason Mark and Kelly put their loft in the SoHo section of New York on the market for $24.5 million in January.
Meanwhile, the beloved TV star says she’s wrestled with the little-understood disorder since she was a child.
“As early as I can remember, certain sounds of eating bothered me,” Kelly revealed in a 2012 interview on ABC’s “20/20.” Although her representative stated that she has never been diagnosed with the disorder, Ripa has talked at length about her aversion to certain sounds.
And things haven’t gotten any better, as she said: “The sounds of people chewing gum can really enrage me.” Kelly, who says the condition has not harmed her career, added that quiet dinners with Mark, 42, and their children – Michael, 16, Lola, 12, and Joaquin, 10 – can be a recipe for disaster. If one of them is chomping, slurping, gulping, or even swallowing too loudly, “my gut reaction is to yell, but I control that,” Kelly said. “If my husband eats a peach, I have to leave the room.”
Misophonia is a rare disorder that literally means “hatred of sound.”
“Dealing with misophonia takes a lot of patience from every member of the family,” Melanie Herzfeld, an audiologist from Woodbury, N.Y., who has not personally treated Ripa, told The ENQUIRER.
“Dealing with misophonia takes a lot of patience from each family member, along with qualified help from therapists who understand the disorder.”
Board-certified audiologist Cindy Ann Simon of South Miami Audiology Consultants, who also does not treat Ripa, added: “To reduce misophonia triggers, I use special noise reduction ear plugs and noise cancellation devices.”
While Kelly’s condition is tough on her, other sufferers appreciate her candidness.
In fact, the misophonia.com website contains a video of Kelly’s appearance on “20/20” and notes: “Thanks to Kelly Ripa, this condition was noticed by thousands of people in America and across the globe.”
In the meantime, former “All My Children” star Mark has helped Kelly cope by giving her moral support and organizing frequent visits to a getaway in Telluride, Colo., a source says.
“He can anticipate the sound triggers that will set her off. He will do anything humanly possibly to make sure Kelly avoids them.
“It was Mark who suggested they buy the mountain retreat in Telluride for the peace and quiet,” noted the family insider. “He knows it’s therapeutic for her and the whole family. In fact, they recently vacationed there.
“Mark is doing everything he can to help Kelly combat the disorder so the whole family can live in peace.”