What is musical ear syndrome and how is it treated?

At some point, all of our ears have been ringing. This is normal, although when that beep can also be a piece of music that no one else hears, only us, we may be suffering from musical ear syndrome. In the professional field it is known as tinnitus and affects a lot 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 how important it is to know it in greater depth.

What is musical ear syndrome?

Although you can already get an idea of ​​what musical ear syndrome is, we are going to explain it in more detail, as musical tinnitus is still unknown to many people. To do this we will base ourselves on what the article explains "Frequently Seen But Rarely Diagnosed: Musical Ear Syndrome". In it they already introduce us that this syndrome is known by its acronym in English MONTH.

But, in addition, it is considered a disability. Nevertheless, It is not a psychiatric disability, but a hearing disability, although in this case it is about melodies or music that the patient hears, such as hallucinations. In the article they also mention that this condition is related to that of Charles Bonnet.

Charles Bonnet syndrome consists of visual hallucinations suffered by patients who have a disability resulting from an advance in myopia that cannot be stopped or almost blind. Well, the musical ear syndrome could be a variant, although in this case the affected organ would be the ear.

Musical ear syndrome is not related to a pleasant sensation of listening to melodies for pleasure, but is a form of tinnitus.

How common is it?

We already mentioned that approximately 15% of the US population suffers from musical ear syndrome. But the figures 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 on a regular basis.

In addition, it is also claimed that 2 million people suffer from more severe musical tinnitus. This means that they suffer from it on a daily basis, which determines their life, their social relationships and the way they function.

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

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Causes of musical ear syndrome

It's clear that musical ear syndrome doesn't come out of nowhere. That is why there are different identified causes, such as hyperacusis. People who have been exposed to high volumes of sound for a long time may experience this problem.

Too the reason for the affectation of the elderly is in the loss of hearing. As with Charles Bonnet syndrome, when a sense begins to lose, hallucinations may appear trying to compensate for the decrease in function.

As the article mentioned before explains, phantom sounds are believed to be caused by hypersensitivity in the cortex auditory. What happens is that, in this case, it is not buzzing or beeping, but melodies, popular music or songs. That is, auditory hallucinations.

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How can it be treated?

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

Wearing headphones, where they can be helpful, also reduces hallucinations caused by musical ear syndrome. Another way could be to add more noise. Playing music at home or having the television on becomes a way for the ear to stop hallucinating and to focus on sounds that do exist.

A final option is the use of medications prescribed by the doctor. When nothing works, this will be the last approach so that the patient can continue with their life and not get frustrated.

Musical ear syndrome is a variety of tinnitus and is treated as such in the first instance by doctors.

Musical ear syndrome is a hallucination

Sure you knew about ringing and ringing in your ears, but it is possible that, in relation to auditory hallucinations, you had no idea that they existed. Fortunately, there is the possibility of treating them thanks to the different options that we currently have. Have you ever experienced musical ear syndrome? Does someone you know close to you suffer from it?