Coggeshall woman 'plagued' by How Much is that Doggie song
- 15 February 2013
- From the section Essex
A woman has endured three years of sleepless nights because an illness means she hears the same novelty pop song playing repeatedly.
Susan Root, 63, has a form of tinnitus and constantly hears the 1950s hit How Much is that Doggie in the Window?
Mrs Root, of Coggeshall, Essex, said she had been driven to breaking point by the song, a number one in 1953.
"My mum said I used to like it when I was a little girl. I don't like it anymore," she said.
Mrs Root, a school cleaner, said he had suffered hearing problems since she was a girl.
But over the last three years, she has been plagued by a from of tinnitus called musical hallucination.
'Driving me mental'
As well as buzzing sounds and other "horrible" noises, Mrs Root hears snatches of other songs.
They include God Save The Queen, Auld Lang Syne and Happy Birthday.
But it is How Much is That Doggie in the Window?, a hit for Lita Roza, that plagues her the most.
The song is a favourite of Baroness Thatcher, who chose it when she appeared on Desert Island Discs.
"It's driving me mental," said Mrs Root.
"It started three years ago. I was at work and I thought 'where's that coming from?'
"It kept repeating, repeating. It frightened me."
Carols and hymns
Her tinnitus makes it hard to hear what her husband, retired lorry driver Graham, is saying and also keeps her awake at night.
She said she had had two ear operations and had been to a number of doctors and therapists but had found no cure.
A spokeswoman for the British Tinnitus Association: "Tinnitus is the perception of any sound for which there is no external sound.
"It affects about 10% of the population. Usually it's a buzzing, ringing whistling or whooshing but in a minority of people it can be music of snatches of song.
"Quite often, it's a popular song that people have known from childhood - a carol or a hymn, maybe. Sometimes it's even snatches of arias.
"It can be very distressing."
She said tinnitus was quite often caused by hearing loss, but stress, anxiety and exposure to loud noise could also play a part.
Treatments include the use of hearing aids, relaxation, counselling and background sounds.