Musical Ear Syndrome
Musical Ear Syndrome or “Earworm” is definitely no joke for Mrs Root
Susan Root an ex-school cleaner, aged 66, from, Coggeshall in Essex, England, has an extremely rare form of Tinnitus, sometimes known as Musical Ear Syndrome.
Susan’s once favourite song from the1950s, “How much is that doggie in the window?”, by Lita Roza (UK version) , plays endlessly in her head.
“It’s like having a radio in your head that you just can’t switch off.
I began hearing tunes in my ears in about 2010 and it just has not stopped since.”
Root says that “doggy” is the song she hears most often, but other tunes such as “God Save the Queen,” “Happy Birthday,” and “Auld Lang Syne,” have also tormented her constantly, day and night.
“It’s especially bad at night and I have terrible trouble getting to sleep, It drives me to breaking point at times.”
Even during the day it can get very bad said Root. She has noticed that the songs can sometimes be so loud she can’t hear what her husband, Graham, is saying to her.
“I am really fed up. Some People think it is funny, but they just don’t understand, it’s a living hell.”
The medical term for Root’s condition is “musical hallucination,” or “musical tinnitus” the condition outside of medicine is commonly referred to as “Earworm” or “Musical Ear Syndrome”.
MES is described as “short fragments of simple melodies familiar from youth”
The British Tinnitus Association say that less than 1% of the population suffers from debilitating musical hallucinations, and it is typically an extension of hearing loss.
“Tinnitus isn’t a condition in itself, it’s a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.”
Doctors gave Mrs Root a hearing aid in the vain hope it would help, but so far it hasn’t.
Susan says she expects to suffer Musical Ear Syndrome for the rest of her life and Doctors agree that the condition is currently incurable.
She is currently taking Diazepam and has a white noise machine (see photo below) to try and help her, but nothing seems to drown out the accursed tunes she hears.
Susan has even tried drowning out the doggy ditty with loud whale music, to no effect.
Some might argue that Susan’s condition is a fitting punishment for having such a poor taste in music, 🙂 Only kidding. However, Lita Roza also hated the tune so much she refused ever to sing it again, after reluctantly recording it.
Considering Lita made some great songs in the fifties, like, “I remember you”, it’s understandable. Well, that makes at least three of us that can’t stand the doggy song, myself, Lita and Susan!
Are you safe?
Are you perceptible to Earworm ?
1 –Are you 60 or over?
2 –Do you have hearing problems of any sort, like hard of hearing for example?
3 –Do you live in very quite surroundings with little or no auditory stimulation.
4 –Do you already have some form of tinnitus?
5 –Are you anxious, stressed or depressed?
If you have at least three of these conditions you have a high chance of eventually suffering from some form of Earworm.
Although anyone can get Musical hallucination, it statistically affects women more than men.
Are you hard enough?
Are you brave enough to listen to “How much is that doggie in the window?”.
Lita Roza version (UK)
Or if you prefer, here is the Patti Page (USA) version:
In 2014 The Daily Mirror reported that Mrs Root now says she’s being plagued instead by Judy Garland’s ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ from the 1939 classic film The Wizard of Oz, and feels she is at ‘breaking point’.
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