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She isn't sleeping good at all because it gets worse during the night. They have told us that the cochlear implant might help, any ideas on that? We need help, it's driving her crazy.

I am late to this party, but my mother heard Christmas and marching band music. She kept getting the people at her independent living building to come to her apartment to listen. She was very angry and said they were lying. I found an article about it and shared it with her and the staff. It explained the hallucinations were caused by her brain making up for a lack of stimulation. I was very surprised the staff was not familiar with it. They actually shared it throughout the facility.
My mother felt much better after reading that it was caused by her hearing loss, and no longer went into her rants about her neighbors or staff playing loud music.
I talked her into hearing aids after telling her I could no longer shout for extended periods. The music stopped after she started using hearing aids, although getting her to continue is a whole different drama.
I do not know about the implant, just that when mother saw the reason for her hallucinations in print (not in conversation or on a screen), she was no longer upset and out of control about it.
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Reply to enderby
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I took my own advice and borrowed Oliver Sachs’ book from the library. Musical Ear Syndrome is not normally medication-induced. It occurs when people have lost all or nearly all hearing, and the brain fills in the gap with other sounds. It’s very difficult to control, but cochlear implants can provide some ‘sounds’ that seem to satisfy the brain. Interestingly, hallucinations can be similar for people who are blind or have very little sight – again, the brain fills in the gap with ‘visions’. It is another indication that we actually see and hear with the brain, not the eyes and ears. When the eyes or ears aren’t doing their job in collecting information, for some people the brain takes over. Brain damage can also cause this, as can sensory deprivation or lack of food or sleep.

Your mother’s problems with lack of sleep might be helped by meditation or self hypnosis, helping her to minimise the artificial noise. Even understanding what is happening to her might help – she shouldn’t be worrying about whether this is a sign that she is going crazy or that anything else will deteriorate, because that isn't the case. Love to her and to you, Margaret
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Medications are the first place to try. In my own case, that is an issue.

Also, if you and mom try to keep time records of what she eats and drinks, as well as the time of consumption, you might figure out some of the irritants. Some days/nights my ears are buzzing , ringing, hearing "people talking on the radio" and these always pass.
By recording intake I figured out some of what in my life brings on the noises. I usually wear 2 hearing aids, but the night sounds are all w/o these.
I feel badly for you mom, since she can't mask the noises. I wonder if meditation practice would help? I hear it recommended for all sorts of issues.
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Reply to Whyarewe
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What medications are driving the hallucinogenic hearing? You would want to check that first. Cochlear implants would be the last option. It requires implantation into the back of the ear.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My on line research tells me that MES is kind of like phantom limb syndrome in that the brain is "hearing" something that isn't there. Unfortunately it looks like the condition is very difficult to treat, the idea behind the implants is restoring some level of hearing, however small, gives the brain something real to do so it will lessen false signals. According to verywellhealth "Today's cochlear implant surgery is a relatively minor operation of just a few hours. Your procedure may be a day surgery and you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home (you should not drive or take public transportation the day you have anesthesia)Or, you may spend the night at the hospital."
(verywellhealth.com/cochlear-implant-surgery-1048484)

How old is your mom - is there a concern with having surgery?
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Reply to cwillie
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Are they absolutely sure it is not Tinnitus?

Have you tried playing, very softly, gentle music? Birds singing etc.
I have tinnitus and night time is always more difficult as there are no other distracting sounds.

Just a thought and good luck.
Buzzy
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Reply to BuzzyBee
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MargaretMcKen Oct 3, 2018
Not sure about the soft music if mother has complete hearing loss. Perhaps the same thing up a lot louder?
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My understanding is that cochlear implants provide a different sensation that the brain can learn to interpret. This way deaf people can learn to interpret speech – it isn’t just making the person hear normally. It is clearly a specialist situation to work out whether this would dampen hallucinations of music. Wikipedia refers to a book by Olive Sachs entitled ‘Musicophelia’ that talks about cochlear implants for Musical Ear Syndrome, which might give more information. Oliver Sachs is usually a great author, well worth a read (especially if the library will get it for you). You could also try the cochlear web site – I can’t enter it into this answer but just do a search for cochlear. The site gives quite a lot of information about hearing loss of different types, which might be helpful as background. You probably also need to think about how your mother would cope with the implant operation, and check whether sleeping medications would be appropriate. What a difficult situation!
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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MargaretMcKen Oct 3, 2018
This is the site - it's an Australian company, so it may not come up first on your search. https://www.cochlear.com/au/home
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