If you’re in your 50s and 60s, you’re at a time in your life when you may start hearing constant ringing in your ears and other ear noises caused by a condition medical professionals refer to as tinnitus. We’re now learning that baby boomers who grew up and lived their adult lives listening to loud music are more likely to have this problem than their parents, grandparents and previous generations.
If you don’t believe that years of listening to high volume music can damage your ears, just look the roster of “veteran” rock musicians who now have constant ringing in the ears and other ear noises caused by tinnitus.
Here’s a partial list of rock and roll royalty who have admitted to having tinnitus and other hearing problems:
John Entwhistle and Pete Townshend of The Who
Townshend is completely deaf in one ear, a condition caused by the combination of an onstage explosion, high decibel concerts, and pumped up volume in headsets as he listened to playbacks of studio cuts.
Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood
Fleetwood admitted in a recent Rolling Stone Magazine interview that “The world’s worst is when you find yourself going like Mother Hubbard and cupping your hand behind your ear. I was a major glutton for volume: ‘Gotta feel it, gotta hear it.’ Sooner or later you’re going to pay the reaper.”
Neil Young of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds, Ted Nugent, Huey Lewis, and Bono (U2) have suffered tinnitus or other forms of hearing problems during their careers.
Musicians from the well known groups Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and My Bloody Valentine have also lost at least a percentage of their hearing through the years.
It’s Not Just Loud Music Either
Musicians aren’t the only entertainers and celebrities who suffer from hearing problems.
Both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy have tinnitus-like hearing challenges suffered during a prop explosion when they were filming a Star Trek episode in the late 60s.
Tinnitus has been a problem for actor and comedian Steve Martin, who acquired it while filming a pistol-shooting scene in “¡Three Amigos!” in 1986.
Constant ringing in the ears has been a problem for some famous people for a long time – even before they found fame, in some cases.
Barbra Streisand has ascribed her volatile temperament to the tinnitus which she has had since she was seven, according to a number of news reports.
Actress Morgan Fairchild had scarlet fever when she was very young. She says she also had many kidney infections and ear infections as a child which she believes caused her to become partially deaf.
Ear noises that have probably been caused by tinnitus have also affected many other famous people, including the late ABC newsman Peter Jennings, broadcaster Larry King, actor Richard Thomas, and presidents Bill Clinton and the late Ronald Reagan.
Having tinnitus is not an indication that you’re going to lose your hearing completely. But if you hear constant ringing in the ears, or ear noises like a whirr, hum, buzz, hiss, whoosh or any sound that shouldn’t be there, you should definitely make an appointment to get a hearing exam as soon as you can.