SuziQ62 Asked October 2013

Mom is very hard of hearing and wears a hearing aid. Recently she tells us she hears (very clearly) a mans voice singing to her??

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She imagined a small boy came to visit her also...I think that was just a dream.
Hearing voices...is that due to her severe hearing loss or could it be some early sign of dementia? She is 91 and mentally still pretty sharp.

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Oct 2013
I have heard stories about hearing aids picking up a radio signal but I'm not sure if that is true. Newer hearing aids are very specialized. Since your mom is so specific about what she hears, it's not static, obviously. I'd just watch her closely. She may doze off or just become lonely and sleepy and either dream or imagine the voices.

Some dementia can cause people to hear a voice, but since she shows no other signs of an issue, there is likely some simpler explanation. Even so, I'd talk to her doctor about it.
Take care,
Carol
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Lilacalani Nov 2013
kisna; Many people (myself included) believe spirit guides can appear when we're ready to see them. I know of individuals who saw them as children, and a few who could continue to see them into adulthood. I think all of us are more likely to see them in our dream state, because we are more receptive when we shut off our conscious programming. (Most of us forget our dreams when we wake up, so we don't remember this contact.) People who are near death are also sometimes more receptive. So in other words, one does not have to be near death to see or hear spirit guides. But it's not unusual to perceive them the closer we are to death (which I believe is a transition into another form of existence). :)
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Villagegirl Nov 2013
My mother has also heard singing so clearly she thought the people next door were playing the stereo. Just ask your mom what the song is!! There was Three Blind Mice and also a song I didn't recognize. She sang it for me: "I'm coming, I'm coming for my head is bending low: I hear those gentle voices calling, Old Black Joe.

I googled "Old Black Joe" and wiki said it was now considered racist and making fun of Old Black Joe, a slave. Hearing it from the lips of my 83-year-old mother with dementia and where she and my father are now in life I know that is not what this is about.

I learned the words and we sang it together. It helped distract from the annoyance of hearing a song and it brought me into her world, too-- and history. I think of such sharing with my mother as a precious window into the past that will soon close from living memory, since this song was old even when my mother was a child in the 1930s:

OLD BLACK JOE
Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe".
Chorus
I’m coming, I’m coming, for my head is bending low:
I hear those gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe".
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betsymval Nov 2013
What your Mom has is called "Musical Ear Syndrome". It is a form of Virtigo. It is not well known yet to ENT's. My Dad (85yrs) had hearing aids also had Music in his ears (head). It started shortly after my Mom got very ill and we all knew she did not have long to live. The night she passed away, my dad told me about the Music. He was embarrassed and kept it from me, thinking I might find him crazy. What played in his ear (head) was the "Mens Tabernacle Choir" with a beautiful
organist. He could change the song by just "thinking" of a different song. Many nights, I would hear him singing "Old Man River". How strange, I thought! But figured he just was singing and he was not the singing type. It was so disturbing to him because he could not sleep or think or concentrate. It was in his head all
the time. I took him to the best EMT I could find and they could not find anything wrong with him. I know my dad REALLY did here the music and was not making up anything. I decided to research this myself in great detail and talk to everyone I knew. This is what I found out....MUSICAL EAR SYMDROME" is a VERY REAL
CONDITION. It mostly occurs in older people with hearing problems. It is brought on by STRESS/ CHANGES in their LIFE (like loss of spouse/companion) or anticipation of losing someone close & LONELINESS. There are no medications for this. My dad passed away 6 weeks after my mom of "BROKEN HEART SYMDROME" (which is also a VERY REAL CONDITION). I hope this helps you.
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captain Nov 2013
i have tinnitis and hear sirens a lot. shortly thereafter i almost always run over stop sticks and blow out my front tires. im starting to think the events are related.
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Yes I believe "dementia" does exist. My comments about listening to songs or music from "somewhere" ... Sometimes it is from "the other side. " Many people - all ages - "hear" violins, other string instruments , buzzing like that of bees, harps, sounds like hums or HU, choral voices etc.

Other side communications - they do happen.

When my father crossed over, someone helping me with his house 3,000 miles away, that next week, commented that the toilet wouldn't shut off. On closer exam she noticed the chain came loose from the ball lever so she fixes it. Next day the chain was off again and the second bathroom had the same problem.

She reported it to me and I had had the same problem happening in my condo - for the first time, fixed it, and it had happened a second day.

In the middle of grumbling fixing it the second time I tuned into the possible "message": he was letting me know my "ball and chain", my endlessly needy father, had made it across.

After I said an out loud "Thank you for letting me know you made it. " - neither his house nor my condo had any repeat episodes of the ball and chain or anywhere else.
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sympavt Nov 2013
My mom experienced the exact same thing. We all figured it was because of her dementia. She heard a man singing opera and kept asking us if we heard him, too !

For an unrelated reason, we happened to take her to the audiologist - who found that Mom had shoved a hearing aid battery into each ear. It took the ENT, using his super-duper ear vacuum, to suck the batteries (with tabs still attached) out of Mom's ears. She hasn't heard the opera singer since.

A friend of mine who is an audiologist told me that it's not uncommon for an elderly person with dementia to mistakenly put batteries directly in their ears instead of in the hearing aid. She's seen it happen quite often.

The batteries may very well be picking up some signal, but I suggest you definitely rule this out as a reason by taking her to the ENT ASAP.
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DGinGA Nov 2013
SuziQ, your Mom is not nuts nor is this phenomena necessarily related to dementia. It is called "Musical Ear Syndrome," and if you go to Amazon and type Musical Ear Syndrome you will find a book by Neil Bauman, PhD who explains this disorder. In a nutshell, it is not unusual for people who are becoming deaf to "hear" music in their heads. This is very real to them. About two years ago my father began to experience this. He swore he heard a man singing outside in their back yard. This was so real to him that he called the police to ask them to tell the guy to shut up! Of course, when they came, there was nobody there, even though my Dad swore he could still hear him. A couple of times he went outside in the dead of winter in the middle of the night to tell the guy to be quiet! Of course there was nobody there. Dr. Bauman posits that when someone is becoming deaf, their brain makes up noises to replace the sounds they can no longer hear. We noticed that this never happened when Dad would wear his hearing aids, only when he did not.

We bought the book for dad so he could read for himself that there IS an explanation for this. We wondered if what Dad was hearing was a memory of himself singing, since my dad sang tenor in the church choir for about 50 years. When he heard this man singing, it was always church hymns.

He was so determined to prove us wrong that the next time he heard the singing, he said it was a baritone and he didn't know the song. I just laughed out loud at that one! My mother, who also sang in church choirs from childhood, said she heard a choir singing. She thought it was carolers on the lawn, even though it was the middle of summer. But she heard a choir singing Christmas music.

We finally convinced Dad to wear his hearing aids every day, and these events tapered off. The more he hears and is engaged in what is going on around him, the less he hears these sounds in his head. Once Dad stopped hearing music, Mom did too. Can't really explain that...

From time to time if he hasn't been wearing his hearing aids, he will hear singing or hear a man talking to him. He asks if we hear it too, and we tell him "Sorry, no." We don't argue with him about it, because it is very real to him.

Hope this helps! Buy the book and share it with your mom. Good luck!
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ferris1 Nov 2013
The REAL solution to this problem is to get hearing aids WITHOUT batteries. Mine are Zounds, have a re-charging stand where I can put them both along with their remote control. Never have to change batteries, and NEVER get batteries stuck in my ears. Try them, they are great!
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pamstegma Oct 2016
Wireless hearing aids that use the same 2.4 GHz ISM (Industrial, Scientific, Medical) band as WLAN (think WIFI) and Bluetooth networks could potentially experience "crosstalk" from nearby sources, such as an adjacent room.
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