Musical Ear Syndrome
Shelagh Fogarty meets the 84-year-old Liverpool grandmother with a rare syndrome which means she hears music all day and all night.
Cath Gamester has Musical Ear Syndrome, a condition resulting in musical hallucinations.
Watch a video feature on the BBC News website.
Managing musical hallucinations
Cath Gamester, 84, hears music on a constant loop throughout the day.
She has musical ear syndorme, a rare condition which affects about one in 10,000 people over 65 in the UK.
Read the full story on the BBC News website.
Fact file: Musical Ear Syndrome
- MES is a form of auditory hallucination which involves hearing music when none is being played
- Hearing phantom sounds such as buzzing or ringing is known as tinnitus
- In a small number of people however, these experiences can be more complex and emotive, and music can be heard
- Musical hallucinations are typically heard as short fragments of simple melodies from the individual's youth, especially hymns and carols
- Commonly heard songs include Happy Birthday, Silent Night and Abide With Me
- One hypothesis is that when a person's world becomes too quiet, the brain manufactures its own sounds based on auditory memories
- MES is more common in women, the over 60s, individuals who live alone and those with sudden hearing loss - the most common and easily treatable cause
- Series Editor
- Deborah Van Bishop
- Tony Livesey
- Shelagh Fogarty
- Chris Jackson