Synesthesia can make many of your senses overlap

Most people are aware of their five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and sound. These senses give you a comprehensive overlook into the world around you. For some unique individuals, these senses can overlap into a phenomenon called synesthesia.

What is synesthesia?

Imagine being able to hear a word and immediately seeing the color blue or experiencing a sweet taste after reading a sentence. Synesthesia is a blending of multiple stimulated senses through one stimulus. It is a neurological condition, but it is not detrimental to one’s health. In fact, research has connected synesthesia to increased memory and mental performance.

Are there different types of synesthesia?

There are dozens of synesthesia combinations that have shown up over the years, but three notable variations include:

  • Chromesthesia: seeing colors in your mind when you hear certain numbers, letters, or words; or sound, pitch, or timbre
  • Number-form: seeing numbers appear as a “mental map”
  • Lexical-gustatory: experiencing certain tastes or scents when reading or hearing certain words

Notable people with synesthesia

This condition is prevalent in at least 3% of the population, with many of those applying it to their artistic talents. Jean Sibelius, a Finnish composer from the late-19th to mid-20th centuries, was said to experience mental sounds when he came across particular colors, scents, or items. This may have contributed to the strong imagery in many of his works, including his Second Symphony. Other artists and musicians with synesthesia include Billy Joel, Vincent Van Gogh, and Billie Eilish.

What should I do if my senses aren’t right?

Combining many of your senses can be a boost of inspiration, but feeling limited in your senses can take you out of the moment. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, blurry vision, nasal congestion, or even limited taste from allergies, turn to the experts at CEENTA. Our team of eye and ENT specialists across nearly twenty offices in the Carolinas can diagnose and treat many of the conditions that are affecting your wellness. Schedule your next appointment with CEENTA today for eye and ENT care that just makes sense.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our eye and ENT doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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