Hearing Loss and Celebrities
The truth is that millions of people suffer from hearing loss. Nearly one third of all seniors over the age of 65 are dealing with hearing loss. Celebrities are not immune to hearing loss either. Here are some famous folk with hearing loss, and the inside scoop on how they manage their hearing loss.
Rock legend Pete Townshend, lead guitarist and songwriter for the band The Who, suffers from hearing loss and tinnitus in both ears. Townshend damaged his hearing due to exposure to extremely loud noise at intense performances where they would even destroy instruments on stage. At a concert in London in 1976, The Who were so loud that the Guinness Book of World Records named it the Loudest Concert Ever.
Nowadays, Townshend is a bit more careful with his hearing. He copes with hearing loss by using studio systems to hear high-frequency sounds in the studio, and wears custom in-ear monitors to perform. He is also an activist, founding the non-profit group H.E.A.R., the Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers, that raises awareness for hearing loss caused by loud music.
To manage his hearing loss, President Clinton now wears completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids, which are very discreet but powerful hearing aids designed for providing comfortable hearing, focusing in on desired sounds, and tuning out distracting background noises.
Loud noise isn’t the only way to lose hearing. Actress Halle Berry suffers from hearing loss caused by a blow to the head at the hands of her former boyfriend. She has lost 80% of hearing in her left ear. Rather than shying away from the topic, Berry uses her hearing loss as a platform to speak out about both domestic violence and hearing loss.
Another actor with hearing loss is Rob Lowe. He’s been deaf in his right ear since he was a baby, likely due to a case of the mumps. Since he has suffered hearing loss his whole life, Lowe doesn’t wear a hearing aid. While this hasn’t affected his acting career, he has admitted that it’s getting harder to hear, particularly in noisy environments.
Lance Allred is just one of several famous athletes with hearing loss. An NBA star, he started with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2008. Allred never lost his hearing, he was born deaf. He faced a lot of discouragement from teachers and coaches early in his career, but he has proved to be a successful athlete. Allred manages his hearing loss by wearing hearing aids in both ears. He recently wrote a book about his experiences as a deaf athlete, titled Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA.
Ludwig Van Beethoven
Perhaps one of the most famous composers of all time, Beethoven was completely deaf by the end of his life. He started to experience hearing loss in his mid-twenties, along with severe tinnitus. He used a hearing horn for conversations, and eventually relied on a pad of paper and pen to communicate. He continued to find ways to compose. Legend has it that he sawed the legs off his piano so he could feel the vibrations of the music through the floor.
If you have hearing loss, you’re not alone. Don’t let it stand in your way! Be inspired by those who overcame hearing loss to achieve their goals. Come see us today at Atlanta Hearing Doctor to discuss what options you have for managing your hearing loss, and we’ll put you back on the road to hearing.