Hearing loss affects over 360 million people worldwide, and left untreated it can be an incredibly isolating experience. Fear not, you’re not alone, even the rich and famous live with hearing loss. Read on for a list of celebrities who live with or have experienced hearing loss.
Actor Rob Lowe has been completely deaf in his right ear ever since an undiagnosed case of the mumps when he was an infant. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2006:
“They seem to think it was the mumps undiagnosed, you know, when I was 8 or 9 months old. I don’t know any differently. It’s funny, as I get older, it’s harder and harder to be in really loud restaurants, they drive me ballistic. That’s really tough for me. Other than that, it’s something I don’t really think about. Other than I wish I could have heard stereo. That would have been fun.”
Foster once confessed to a reporter that she’s not very good at taking care of her own health needs, especially “this hearing loss thing”. She has also been spotted wearing hearing aids on a number of occasion – just like the rest of us!
In 2011, acclaimed musician Phil Collins called the music business quits, due to his failing health and diminishing hearing. After almost 40 years of live concerts and studio sessions, he suffered from sudden hearing loss, which he described in the German weekly paper Die Zeit: “I was recording in the States and had spent the day singing in the studio. Then I collected my daughter from school. We got home, had something to eat, played a video game. Then suddenly my ear went ssssssssshh. Within a second my left ear simply closed down. As if I had been underwater. I tried to clear it by pinching my nose. But it made no difference. So I thought it would sort itself out. But it didn’t.”
Another music legend, Eric Clapton was once renowned for his loud live sets and would simply declare to those who complained, ‘That’s the way I play.’ Unfortunately, his penchant for turning up the volume is the reason he suffers from tinnitus today. He has learnt to protect his hearing using earplugs, and thankfully his condition is not worsening.
While most musicians owe their hearing loss to years of exposure to excessive noise, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson has had little to no hearing in his right ear since early childhood. Despite this early setback, he still went on to be a hugely successful and iconic musician.
Known for appearing in cult comedies such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun, late actor Leslie Nielsen suffered from sensorineural hearing loss. He was legally deaf and wore hearing aids for most of his life. He never allowed his hearing loss to slow him down, however – he will still go down in history as one of the funniest comedians of all time!
Famed actor William Shatner has suffered from tinnitus since the 1960s, after he stood too close to a special effects explosion while filming an episode of Star Trek. Shatner told the American Tinnitus Association, “There were days when I didn’t know if I would survive the agony [because] I was so tormented by the screeching in my head.” He eventually sought professional help and his condition has improved.
At Hearing Sense, it is our goal to give your ears the “star treatment”. If you feel you may have a hearing loss, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 8331 8047 to book your FREE hearing assessment.