The Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Clinic (THC), part of the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic, is committed to bringing specialized tinnitus care to our patients while providing unique clinical experiences for our students. To meet the demand for services and provide more students with learning opportunities, we are proud to say that our THC has doubled the available appointments in the last year.
Approximately 10-15 percent of the population experiences tinnitus on a regular basis. For most patients, these are simple sounds like a ringing, humming, buzzing, or crickets.
What if you experience a less common type of tinnitus where music is heard? Not to worry, the THC is experienced in helping patients with this unusual type of tinnitus.
Musical Ear Syndrome (also known as musical tinnitus or non-psychiatric auditory hallucinations) is probably more common than we know because patients may be afraid to tell their doctors, fearing they will be labeled as mentally ill. The music heard by patients with musical tinnitus is usually songs that are very familiar to the patient, often known since childhood like church hymns, national anthems, or Christmas carols. Some people even describe speech like that of a sportscaster or news on the radio.
When first noticed, the patient is typically convinced the source is external, often searching for a television or radio that was left on or accusing neighbors of playing loud music. These types of non-psychiatric auditory hallucinations are very different than the psychiatric variety where a clearly understood voice is talking to or about the patient in a meaningful way.
Like any tinnitus that has suddenly began or changed, it is a good idea to have a thorough medical and audiological evaluation if you notice musical tinnitus. Like more typical forms of tinnitus, it is unlikely that this is a sign of a serious medical condition.
Once any treatable medical issues are ruled out, if you are bothered by your musical tinnitus, seek treatment with an experienced tinnitus audiologist. Many of the same treatment methods that successfully improve other types of tinnitus can help musical tinnitus.
There is no need to suffer in silence. Contact the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic for more information.