Also known as “musical tinnitus”, it is a neuropsychiatric condition marked by the incessant hearing of melodies in the absence of any external stimuli.
We all love music, but what happens when a song gets stuck in our heads?
A woman named Susan Root from England reported consistently hearing American singer Patti Page's 1952 hit song "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" in her head for four years!
She would become so entranced by the tune playing in her head that she would lose track of time. She also lost ample sleep over the song in her head.
When no treatment came of use, her husband resorted to shouting to gain her attention and keep her mindful of the present, despite the incessantly playing song.
But, to make matters worse, she also started hearing other tunes like Judy Garland’s “Somewhere over the Rainbow”, Robert Burns’s “Auld Lang Syne”, and the popular “Happy Birthday” anthem.
At night, the music would get louder, compelling her to turn on the television to drown out the ceaseless melody and fall asleep.
Experts deemed her condition to be an extreme type of tinnitus called “musical tinnitus” or the musical ear syndrome (MES).
It is a form of auditory or musical hallucination marked by the non-stop hearing of actual melodies, even if no sound is being played.
In some cases, like that of Susan Root, the affected person hallucinates songs, tunes, instruments, and melodies.
Such hallucinations usually mark the onset of hearing impairment or a psychotic illness, even though these carry no diagnostic significance on their own.
Do hallucinations lead to Psychosis? Know more below!