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Famous Tinnitus Sufferers

Person list created by Defenestrated Jack Avatar

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Beethoven's most persistent symptom was tinnitus, a ringing in his ears that made it hard for him to hear music and conversation. He first mentioned it in a letter to a friend in 1801, when he was 30.

In his letters, van Gogh tells of suffering from ringing or roaring in the ears, impaired hearing and an intolerance of loud noises

Michelangelo wrote that he had a spider’s web hidden in one ear and a cricket singing throughout the night in the other ear.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan likely developed tinnitus after a blank pistol was fired too close to one of his ears during his pre-politics acting career.

It's believed that he may have developed hearing loss and tinnitus due to his experience flying in open cockpit planes with high amounts of noise with the combination of possible drug use.

"When I went to have my hearing tested, I had supersonic hearing. I hear more. It’s annoying because I long to hear silence. That’s one of the reasons that I always felt different as a kid. I was in the sixth grade when I started to hear these strange noises, and I would put scarves around my head to try to block them out. I lived with a secret. I was afraid to find out what it was."

The much-loved actor developed tinnitus during his training in the military.

Tinnitus can develop in many ways and for the songstress, her father was the cause. She said he was sitting next to her at the 1973 Academy Awards when she was announced as Best Actress for her role in Cabaret. He was so excited he turned his head towards her and yelled loudly right into her ear. The sudden burst of noise damaged her hearing and left her with ongoing tinnitus.

Average listal rating (631 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Actor and comedian Steve Martin developed tinnitus after a loud pistol shooting scene on the set of the movie Three Amigos in 1986. ... Asked for his advice to other tinnitus sufferers, Martin simply expressed that people must learn to live with it and make the necessary adjustments to keep from going crazy.

Average listal rating (900 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.3
Star Trek (1966)
On July 6, 1967, the episode Arena in the early Star Trek series was aired. Little did anyone know that both of its main characters, William Shatner famous for Captain Kirk and Leonard Nimoy for Spock, were injured. ... Shatner was injured in his left ear where as Nimoy suffered hearing loss and tinnitus in his right ear

"There were days when I didn’t know whether I would survive, I was so tormented by the screeching in my head."- William Shatner

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (324 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Sting is known for both his solo career as well as his membership in The Police. Suffering from tinnitus, Sting has become an advocate for hearing loss awareness and a supporter of the Hear The World campaign.

“I suffer from permanent tinnitus . . . which means I’ve got this constant ringing in my ears, which has also made me somewhat deaf (or ‘conveniently deaf,’ as Sharon calls it), it’s like this Whee! noise in my head all the time. Should have worn earplugs, I guess.”

Martin Luther, who led the Protestant Reformation, used to suffer tinnitus so badly in his ear that he had to hire a strongman or two to stop him from physically hurting someone or himself during the bouts of pain.

"You awaken to the sound of your head-it took me like a month (to figure it out) because I was like- is that the sound the refrigerator? So you go in the kitchen and your listening to appliances and you pretty soon figure out- no it's in my head."

The Scottish star of 300 and many other film and stage productions, Gerard Butler had surgery as a child that left his right ear physically deformed. He suffers from lifelong tinnitus and hearing loss in that ear, which he says is responsible for his smile appearing crooked in photos.

Average listal rating (304 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
"At the time, 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 sssssssshh. Within a second my left ear simply closed down. As if I had been under water. I tried to clear it by pinching my nose. But it made no difference. So I thought it will sort itself out. But it didn’t."

“I have severe hearing damage. It’s manifested itself as tinnitus, ringing in the ears at frequencies that I play guitar. It hurts, it’s painful, and it’s frustrating.”

Average listal rating (466 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
“I started using Fender Deluxe Reverb amps and 50-watt Marshalls around ’97, after I started having some problems with tinnitus. It was my own doing — being irresponsible and thinking I was invincible.”

Average listal rating (829 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
“Without a doubt I have tinnitus. You’re not a proper rock’n’roll star if you don’t, I learned to live with it a long time ago. I put up with it – I just talk really loudly over it. I’m proud of it. Anyone who doesn’t have ringing in their ears can fuck right off.”- Liam Gallagher

"So I went to the doctors and did all the tests and all that. If you can believe it, tinnitus is the sound of your own brain, because what stops you from hearing the sound of your own brain is this kind of protective receptors of what have you and when they wear away you can just hear your own brain."- Noel Gallagher

Average listal rating (338 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
I made ‘Harvest Moon’ because I didn’t want to hear any loud sounds. I still have a little bit of tinnitus, but fortunately now I’m not as sensitive to loud sounds as I was for a year after the mixing of ‘Weld’. My hearing’s not perfect but it’s okay.”

Average listal rating (2404 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
It's been reported that Reeves has dealt with tinnitus in his left ear, potentially brought on by working in high-intensity action movies.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (105 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
“Looking after your ears is unfortunately something you don’t think about until there’s a problem. I’ve had tinnitus for about ten years, and since I started protecting my ears it hasn’t got any worse – touch wood,”

“We played a giant airplane hangar of a room, and once again Nirvana went out and destroyed with their set, and the kids went insane. It was so packed in there by the time we came onstage that steam had risen off the audience and formed a discernible cloud. We played better that night. There was less pressure, for one, and John felt like rocking a bit more. Maybe Nirvana was pushing him. That night was the beginning of my ongoing battle with tinnitus. Chad and I both came offstage and hugged backstage and realized that our ears were perceptibly ringing. By the end of that tour, I’d have permanent ear damage, which, unfortunately, is one of the hardest things to cure.”

Average listal rating (63 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 0
“I would fall asleep often with the television on, and I would wake up in the middle of the night to go turn the TV off,” Ulrich said. “Except it wasn’t actually on. When I realized that I was doing that frequently, actually getting up to turn the TV off that was not on to begin with, I realized that maybe I had some issues."

Average listal rating (311 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
“When I first started playing in bands I never wore hearing protection and we played as loud as we possibly could. One night I came home from a punk rock show and my ears were ringing, as they often did. And they were still ringing the next day. And the next. Ever since then I’ve always worn some sort of hearing protection when exposed to very loud music because I realised that once my hearing is gone it will never return.”

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (20 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Alex Trebek, the host of the popular American show Jeopardy also suffers from tinnitus.

Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
''I have suffered from it, and a lot of people in my generation and in my job suffer from Tinnitus, and with about 80 per cent of people it's possible to get rid of it. It's all to do with a positive mental approach which has this amazing psychosomatic effect.

Average listal rating (52 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
"In the last year there's been a major improvement, although it does bug me incredibly from time to time. But for me - this is personally - its definitely in proportion to the quality of sleep. The poorer the quality of sleep, the louder the tinnitus, and the more troublesome."

Average listal rating (242 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Once the frontman for Oingo Boingo, Elfman surrendered the stage in favour of the studio when his tinnitus and hearing loss worsened. Now a composer, Elfman is most famous for composing The Simpsons’ theme song and for his long-time partnership with director Tim Burton.

Average listal rating (21 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
The Black Eyed Peas star has revealed doctors told him that the chronic condition, which causes a constant ringing sound in the ears, will eventually lead to irreversible hearing loss.

“Damn you tinnitus! You’re a cruel mistress!.”

Both Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher from shoegaze legends My Bloody Valentine suffer from tinnitus.

"Initially, I was worried. But I've come to treat the tinnitus as a friend. It filters unwanted sounds and actually protects my ears. It becomes your first line of defence against audible stress. I'm not boasting because my hearing has always been average but I hear things that a lot of people don't hear. That part of my brain that processes sound works a lot harder than average.- Kevin Shields

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
“It started after I’d gone to a Spice Girls concert and got great seats, but unfortunately they were also pretty close to the huge speakers. After that evening I had this incessant high-pitched whine in my left ear. I didn’t know what it was and at first just hoped it would go away, but it didn’t and it started to drive me mad."

After years of playing music at high volumes, Kennedy was left with tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears that he likens to the whining of an old television set.

"I love the memories, but I can never get away from the tinnitus, which is very frustrating. It can drive me a bit crazy at times. When I'm busy, it's easier to ignore as my brain's distracted and seems to have learnt to block it out. It's definitely hardest at night when it's quiet and all I hear is a loud whistling in my ears."

Average listal rating (57 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
"I can't achieve a total silence. I have had tinnitus in my both ears for years. It's an A sharp -note"

“I have a condition with my ears called tinnitus, which in my case is very severe, and has been causing me excruciating pain for two years now.”

“I’ve given up because I want to protect my ears, music is too loud in clubs”

Average listal rating (30 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
"Damn, I developed a nasty case of tinnitus :-( For jogging I bought loud in-ear headphones that completely close off your ear. Now in both ears I have a horrible beep that will never go away. And the test today also showed pretty bad hearing damage (4k range) from all the years of noise. So please listen to the warning: be careful with in-ear earphones!"- Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Average listal rating (10 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
“Waking up to a whistling sound that won’t go away makes you fear for your sanity. When I’m stressed it’s worse and can sound as loud as a shrieking kettle on a hob. There were times I thought it was going to drive me mad."

Wikipedia: Tinnitus is the perception of sound when no corresponding external sound is present. While often described as a ringing, it may also sound like a clicking, buzzing, hiss, or roaring. The sound may be soft or loud, low or high pitched, and often appears to be coming from one or both ears or from the head itself. In some people, the sound may interfere with concentration and in some cases it is associated with anxiety and depression. Tinnitus is usually associated with some degree of hearing loss and with decreased understanding in noise. It is common, affecting about 10–15% of people. Most, however, tolerate it well, and it is a significant problem in only 1–2% of people. The word tinnitus comes from the Latin tinnire which means "to ring".

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