Although many people look up to them as superstars, famous people have problems with their hearing too. Long exposure to excessive noise or a simple ear infection has caused them hearing difficulties which have affected their lives. Have a read at three famous people who have needed their hearing addressed.

Pete Townshend, Guitarist for The Who

Part of the iconic band, The Who, Townshend has made a huge impact upon
the world’s music scene. Having sold over 100 million records, The Who are one of the biggest selling bands of all time, however the constant exposure to loud sounds has had a detrimental impact on his hearing.

Pete lost the ability to hear in one of his ears after his band mate, Keith Moon blew up his drum kit during a gig in the 1967. In subsequent years, this hearing loss expanded to both ears as he was exposed to high levels of sound.

Consider that the ‘safe’ level of noise is around 85 decibels – equivalent to busy city traffic, yet he has been rocking at gigs for 50 years with The Who at decibel levels in excess of 115 then you can understand the impact that this has had on him.

Their concert in 1976 was recorded by the Guinness Book of Records as ‘The Loudest Ever’ by the Guinness Book of Records, measuring in at 126 decibels, 32 metres from the stage.

He was advised to visit an audiologist by his friend Neil Young and now takes advantage of the latest hearing aids available.

Click here for some of The Who

Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America

You might have known that the former President of the United States of America is a regular helicopter traveller, but did you know that Bill played the Saxophone when he was younger? The damage from his early years has now caught up with him in the last 17 years and he now uses hearing aids to supplement his ears back to an acceptable level.

Want to hear Bill play some saxophone? Check this out!


Ludwig Van Beethoven

Beethoven's Ear HornHow could we forget to mention one of the greatest composers of all time and his hearing condition? He has produced timeless compositions that will live on for centuries to come. However, he was unable to hear many of these compositions himself other than inside his head.

Beethoven began to lose his hearing at age 26, he suffered from a ringing in his ears known as tinnitus that made it difficult for him to hear music, causing him to avoid conversations. In 1802, he wrote letters to his brothers describing the pain and isolation he had as a result of his hearing difficulties.

Beethoven sought out various types of hearing aids to help him improve his ears. He opted for one called an ear horn (pictured right) which helped, but by 1814, he had almost lost his ability to hear.

In 1824, during his masterful Ninth Symphony, he had to be turned around to hear the applause of the audience because he could not hear the orchestra or the audience, after which he wept.


We have seen the impact that listening to music to loud can have on peoples’ hearing and the way that it can change peoples’ lives. In an age where people around the world are listening to music at excessive levels through their earphones, we can expect the number of people suffering from these problems will grow in the future.

We encourage musicians to wear adequate ear protection when performing and anyone who uses headphones to make sure that they adjust the volume to an acceptable level.

We are happy to help if you feel that you are not hearing the way you used to. Please feel free to give us a call on 0333 320 7788 to arrange an appointment.

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