The legendary guitarist and vocalist Eric Clapton has revealed that he’s suffering from severe hearing loss.
His hearing is perhaps the most important part of his fame. Clapton is the only person to ever be inducted three separate times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is only one of his accolades, as Clapton has also been ranked second in Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” fifth in Time magazine’s list of “10 Best Electric Guitar Players,” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.”
Even as a man in his 70s, Clapton continues to go on tour, but this could be the very thing causing his hearing loss. According to Clapton’s ENT for ear problems in Los Angeles, he has tinnitus, which is a condition in which the ear simulates noise as a sign that you are suffering hearing loss. The most common sign of tinnitus is the sound of ringing in the ears, although sounds can vary.
While tinnitus is most often associated with hearing loss that comes naturally with age, it’s often linked to those who have careers that put them in loud places. Examples of these professions include bartenders, construction workers, and of course, musicians.
Not only do musicians stand net to speakers blasting decibels of their music, but those decibels are being blasted to thousands of screaming fans. This cruel irony makes many musicians start to lose their hearing.
Clapton is not alone in his hearing loss, as singers like Neil Diamond, Bono, Sting, and Ozzy Osbourne also suffer hearing loss. Some younger musicians like Louis Tomlinson and Jessie J have also begun to suffer hearing loss.
“I’m hoping that people will come along and see me just because, or maybe more than because I’m a curiosity,” Clapton told BBC2. “I know that is part of it, because it’s amazing to myself I’m still here.”
Those who are experiencing a noticeable change in their ability to hear should visit an ENT doctor in Los Angeles immediately.