Celebrities may have lavish lifestyles, fast-paced lives and larger-than-life personalities that almost seem unreal. Which is why it’s easy to forget that they are still human beings, with their own unique problems and challenges to overcome - just like you. These 10 celebrities with hearing loss prove that you shouldn’t let hearing loss hold you back. They’ve all gone on to enjoy successful careers, despite their hearing loss.
Celebrities with Hearing Loss
Approximately 48 million adults in the USA suffer from hearing loss, and the condition affects people from so many diverse walks of life and various age groups. Some of the world’s most loved and popular celebrities also suffer from hearing loss.
1. Whoopi Goldberg
Decorated actress and television host, Whoopi Goldberg, has cited her years of listening to loud music as the cause for her hearing loss. Goldberg struggles to hear low-frequency sounds, such as male voices and deep bass tones, and wears two hearing aids full-time.
While she still struggles at times, she is able to follow conversation particularly well - as evident by her long-running spot on The View. Interestingly, Whoopi is one of 18 entertainers to ever win the EGOT, which includes an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and a Tony award.
2. Neil Young
It’s no surprise that musicians would be found on this list, especially one as celebrated as Neil Young. The Canadian songwriter has suffered from tinnitus for a long time, and believes that it was caused by his exposure to loud music as a musician.
At one point, his tinnitus even prevented him from touring. Rather than let that stop him, Young was inspired to write softer music - which ultimately led to his critically-acclaimed album, Harvest Moon.
3. Eric Clapton
Regarded by many as the most influential and successful guitarist in the world, English rock legend Eric Clapton also suffers from tinnitus. The similarities to Young continue as Clapton also believes that his tinnitus stemmed from years of loud music, especially within small studios.
4. Barbara Streisand
Streisand crosses into both worlds of musician and actress, with a career spanning over six decades. She, too, suffers from tinnitus, and revealed that she has been living with the condition since the age of 9. Streisand spoke about her condition in an interview with Barbara Walters in 1985 and has since gone on to enjoy an incredibly successful career, even to this day.
5. Robert Redford
Robert Redford is a multi-award winning actor, director, and producer, and the recipient of an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, the Cecil B. DeMille Award, as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Redford is partially deaf in his left ear, which he states is due to an untreated ear infection in 2013, while filming All is Lost.
6. Rob Lowe
A leading name in TV shows such as Parks and Recreation and West Wing, Lowe has been deaf in one ear since he was an infant. Lowe has stated that while it's not definitive, it was most likely due to undiagnosed mumps that resulted in the loss of his hearing in one ear. While he has still enjoyed an incredibly successful career, he regrets not being able to hear in stereo.
7. Millicent Simmonds
Simmonds is a teen actor known for her role as Regan Abott in A Quiet Place and its sequel, A Quiet Place Part II and has been deaf since she was infant as well. Interestingly, Simmonds mostly uses American Sign Language to communicate despite having a cochlear implant, just like her character in the film series.
8. Derrick Coleman
The NFL star, who won a Super Bowl while playing as fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, has been legally deaf since the age of 3 due to a hereditary condition. He has stated that he has little memory of when he could hear, and has worn hearing aids almost all his life. Coleman would keep his hearing aids on while he played football, using a head cover to keep the devices in his ears.
9. Halle Berry
Sadly, Halle Berry’s hearing loss was induced by trauma that she suffered in the early 1990s. Her then boyfriend hit her so hard that he punctured her left ear drum, she lost 80% of her hearing in that ear. Amongst her numerous accolades, including being the only African American to win an Oscar for best lead actress, she actively supports domestic violence prevention and intervention, as she also grew up watching her mother suffer from domestic abuse.
10. Stephen Colbert
The controversial host of The Late Show is the final celebrity on our list, and is completely deaf in his right ear. Colbert’s hearing loss occurred during childhood when surgeons attempted to remove a tumor from his ear and “scooped it out with a melon baller.” Unfortunately, this dashed his plans to become a marine biologist, since he was not able to equalize pressure under water.
These 10 celebrities with hearing loss have gone on to enjoy incredible success in their careers, despite having various forms of hearing loss. It is important to take care of your hearing health and if you suspect you may have any degree of hearing loss (you can take our free online hearing test to check), get treatment immediately to prevent further issues from happening.
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