What Is Musical Ear Syndrome And How Is It Treated?

Do you hear melodies that come out of nowhere? Perhaps you suffer from musical ear syndrome, a problem with different causes. Find out more below!
What is musical ear syndrome and how is it treated?

At some point, we’ve all had ringing in our ears. This is normal, but maybe that hum sounds more like a piece of music that only we hear. In that case, perhaps we could be suffering from musical ear syndrome. Medically, it’s known as tinnitus or tinnitus, and it affects more people than you might think.

In the United States alone, for example, approximately 15% of the population suffers from musical ear syndrome, according to the American Tinnitus Association (ATA). A percentage that alerts us to the importance of getting to know it in greater depth.

What is musical ear syndrome?

Although you already have an idea of ​​what musical ear syndrome is, let’s explain it in more detail, as many people are still unaware of what musical tinnitus is. To do this, we will build on what the article “Frequently Seen But Rarely Diagnosed: Musical Ear Syndrome” explains. According to this article, this syndrome has the acronym in English MES .

Furthermore, it is considered a disability. However, it is not a psychiatric disability, but an auditory one, although in this case it is a question of melodies or music that the patient hears as hallucinations. In the article, they also mention that this condition is related to Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Charles Bonnet syndrome consists of visual hallucinations suffered by patients with disabilities resulting from an advance in myopia that cannot be stopped or from near-blindness. Musical ear syndrome may be a variant, although in this case the affected organ is the ear.

musical ear syndrome
Musical ear syndrome is not related to a pleasant sensation of listening to melodies for pleasure; it’s a form of tinnitus.

How common is this syndrome?

We’ve already mentioned that approximately 15% of the population in the United States suffers from musical ear syndrome, but the numbers are even more alarming. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20 million Americans deal with this syndrome regularly.

Furthermore, it is also claimed that 2 million people suffer from more severe musical tinnitus. This means that they suffer daily from the disease, which affects their life, their social relationships and their life in general.

Other data from the ATA indicate that tinnitus is more common in men than in women, as well as among the elderly and music lovers (or musicians). However, those who work in environments where there is a lot of noise and those who have held military positions also fall into this category.

Causes of musical ear syndrome

Of course, musical ear syndrome doesn’t come out of nowhere. There are different causes identified, such as hyperacusis. People who have been exposed to high volumes of sound for an extended period of time may experience this problem.

The reason why elderly people are affected is hearing loss. As in the case of Charles Bonnet syndrome, when a sense starts to be lost, hallucinations can appear trying to compensate for the decrease in that function.

As the article we mentioned above explains well, phantom sounds are believed to be caused by hypersensitivity in the auditory cortex. What happens is that, in this case, it’s not a hum or beep, but melodies, popular songs or songs. That is, auditory hallucinations.

How can we handle the problem?

There are different ways to treat musical ear syndrome. One of them may be controlling the stress that causes hallucinations due to anxiety about hearing loss. Practicing yoga, meditation, Pilates, or physical exercise can be of great help.

The use of hearing aids, where they are helpful, also reduces hallucinations caused by musical ear syndrome. Another way might be to add more noise. Playing music at home or keeping the television on becomes a way for the ear to stop hallucinating and focus on real sounds.

One last option is the use of prescription drugs. When nothing works, this will be the last approach for the patient to get on with their life and not get frustrated.

Ringing in the ear
Musical ear syndrome is a variety of tinnitus and doctors treat it as such in the first instance.

The musical ear syndrome is a hallucination

Of course, you already knew about ringing in your ears, but it’s possible you had no idea that auditory hallucinations existed. Fortunately, there is the possibility of treating them thanks to the different options we currently have. Have you faced musical ear syndrome or do you know someone close to you who suffers from it?

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