Hearing Loss: You Are Not Alone
Hearing loss is the third most common physical impairment reported by Americans, following only arthritis and heart disease. In fact, approximately 48 million Americans, or 20% of the population, suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Because hearing loss is essentially an “invisible disorder,” meaning someone cannot see that you have problems hearing just by looking at you, many individuals are not aware of how prevalent it is. Fortunately, over the past few years, there has been an increase of outspoken celebrities willing to give a face to hearing loss. These people prove that hearing loss can affect anyone, regardless of age, race, socio-economic status or gender. Let’s take a look at some of the famous faces of hearing loss who are creating awareness for an impairment which touches millions of Americans every year.
- Halle Berry: Oscar winning actress Halle Berry, who regularly speaks as an advocate for women of domestic violence, shared her story of hearing loss related to abuse she suffered at the hands of a previous significant other. Berry reportedly suffers a permanent unilateral hearing loss in her left ear following repeated blows to the head.
- Rush Limbaugh: Entertainer and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is one of the most well-recognized cochlear implant users in the world. In 2001 Limbaugh announced that he was deaf in both ears from auto-immune inner ear disorder. Today, he is a successful bilateral cochlear implant user.
- Bill Clinton: Former United States President Bill Clinton suffers from the most common form of hearing loss: high frequency hearing loss. Clinton, like so many others, reportedly ignored his hearing loss until significant communication difficulties finally spurred him to take action. Clinton wears bilateral in-the-canal hearing aids.
- Jodie Foster: Actress, director and producer Jodie Foster admitted to Chicago Tribune that she notoriously neglects her health issues, including “this hearing loss thing” and her occasional vertigo attacks. Foster has been spotted sporting a hearing aid so hopefully she is on the path to taking control of her hearing loss.
- Pete Townshend: Song writer and guitarist of The Who Pete Townshend has both hearing loss and tinnitus (ear ringing) as the result of years of noise exposure at rock concerts and practice sessions. Long-term exposure to loud sounds or brief exposure to extremely loud sounds can cause permanent hearing loss, as is the case with Townshend and many other famous musicians.
The above list is just a small sample of the list of celebrities with hearing loss. They, and many others, go to show that hearing loss does not have to get in the way of doing amazing things. If you think you may have a hearing problem, make an appointment at The Hearing Center for a consultation to talk about getting help now.