Hearing Loss and Huey Lewis
Born July 5th, 1950, Hugh Anthony Cregg III adopted the professional name ‘Huey Lewis’. He plays the harmonica and is the lead singer for his band. Awarded the Grammy, this singer, songwriter as well as actor is known and loved by all. Almost one year ago, Huey began to suffer from hearing loss. This sudden attack has left him dazed. This article takes a close look at his battle with the illness and how he overcame it, as well as all that you need to know about hearing loss. So, read on…
Who Is Huey Lewis?
Hugh Anthony Cregg III was born on the 5th of July, 1950, and is professionally known as Huey Lewis. He is a Grammy-winning actor, songwriter, and singer who is from America. He plays the harmonica for and leads his band, ‘Huey Lewis and The News’ aside writing and co-writing lots of the songs his band sings. His band is popular for its third, and also best-selling album ‘Sports’, and also for its contribution to the 1985 feature film ‘Back to the Future’s’ soundtrack.
Sometime in 2018, Huey had to cancel all of his tour dates for the remainder of the year. The reason had something to do with hearing health – and, something that is called Méniére’s Disease. This diagnosis truly dazed the amazing performer. Even though Huey was obviously (and understandably) concerned about the illness that took him off the tour road, one thing is certain: he never gave up and he was quite hopeful that it wasn’t going to be it for his entertainment career. On Monday the 7th of May 2018, he said on ‘Today’ that he hadn’t come to grips with the truth that he might never sing again. He said he was still hoping that he was going to get better. Well, what is it that they say that a positive attitude is very important. So, how did Lewis defeat Méniére’s Disease?
What is Méniére’s Disease?
Méniére’s Disease is an inner ear-affecting disorder. The inner ear is accountable for balance and hearing. The condition brings about vertigo, a sensation that makes one feel as if the world around him is spinning. Also, it sometimes ends in a ringing sound inside the ear and hearing problems. Typically, it affects just one ear as it has been shown to cross over to the other ear in only about 30% of cases, says Wikipedia.
It is estimated by the NIDCD (National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders) that almost one million people are suffering from the illness in the US. About five hundred thousand patients are diagnosed with it every single year. It is most probable to occur in individuals who are in their forties and fifties. The illness is chronic but lifestyle alterations and treatments are capable of helping to ease its symptoms. Several individuals who are diagnosed with it would normally go into remission within a couple of years after they have been diagnosed.
The causes of the illness are unknown, but scientists believe that it is brought about by the changes that occur in the fluids that are contained in the tubes that are found inside the inner ear. Other causes that have been suggested by experts include allergies, autoimmune disease, as well as genetics. Like has been mentioned, it can lead to hearing issues, including hearing loss.
Battling Hearing Loss
Individuals that are suffering from hearing loss are probable to experience numerous emotional and mental problems; depression, loneliness, decreased cognitive functioning, anger, anxiety, and frustration are usual among people living with untreated hearing loss. Include about ten years on the average spent seeking treatment and you will certainly have a recipe for a quality of life that is unnecessarily poor for millions of individuals, including even famous people like Huey Lewis. Some of the emotional battles that individuals suffering from hearing loss need to fight include;
- Negative Thoughts: Older adults who are living with hearing loss frequently admit that being ‘hard of hearing’ brings about communication issues and often interferes with concentration and thinking. It makes sufferers begin to harbor negative thoughts which then go on to bring about inattentiveness, distraction, and even boredom, in the least. At its very worst, a hearing issue could make an individual withdraw into his shell and stop taking part in all the things he loves. And, this is all as a result of negative thoughts – feeling that he is inferior to other people, for instance.
- Depression: In recent years, hearing loss and depression have been linked. A recent study that was undertaken by the National Council on Aging, which studied over 2,330 individuals who had hearing loss, discovered that individuals with hearing loss were 50% more probable to experience depression. And this isn’t about only feeling down from time to time; several seniors whose hearing loss was left untreated reported feelings of depression and/or sadness that lasted for two weeks or even more. The theory that untreated hearing loss wasn’t harmful in older persons was debunked by the study. Also former studies back this theory up; the Journal of American Medicine Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, in a 2014 study, linked hearing loss with a significant rise in the risk of depression, and discovered that women that were suffering from hearing loss experienced higher rates of depression than their male counterparts. No wonder, even Huey Lewis admitted to being depressed at some point.
- Suicidal Thoughts: In a blunt interview in which Huey Lewis opened up to editors of the Whitefish Review, a journal that is published in Montana, he admitted to being suicidal after he first received his diagnosis in 2018, which ‘ruined everything’ according to him. He admitted to contemplating suicide during the first two months after his diagnosis. Well, this is among the things that hearing loss can do to an individual. It is among the ways it’s capable of influencing a person’s thinking. If it could affect famous persons like Huey in that way, then it can also do so for virtually any other person.
What Are Some Symptoms That I may have Hearing Problems?
For adults that are suffering from any type of hearing loss, there are general indicators that signify that you might not be hearing as excellently as you are supposed to. You might probably have hearing loss if you find yourself in all or only a couple of the following scenarios;
- Family, colleagues, and friends always say or complain that you always turn the radio or TV up just too high.
- You always struggle to comprehend speech, particularly when it is in an environment that is noisy.
- You find it significantly challenging to hear people talking to you on the phone virtually every time.
- You are always unsure of where it is that whatever noise you are hearing is really coming from, which is also called localization by some experts.
- You frequently ask people to repeat what they have just said to you.
- You discover yourself to be avoiding most of the social situations you use to find exciting and fun.
- You always feel exhausted after you must have attended any social event.
- You notice that you have ringing or tinnitus in your ears.
- Some certain sound paradoxically appears to be just too loud for you, also called ‘recruitment by some experts.
Other Hearing Problems to Be Aware Of
There is a wide range of different hearing problems that affect adults and sometimes children. The most common ones include;
- Tinnitus: This occurs when an individual keeps hearing a sound in his ear even though no source exists outside the ear, which is causing the sound.
- The Buildup of Ear Wax: The buildup of ear wax occurs when there is an accumulation of earwax which completely or partially blocks an individual’s auditory canal.
- Language Challenges: Young kids certainly learn at their own individual pace; they learn language quite gradually, and every kid develops his language differently.
- DLD (Dysphasia): This is known as Developmental Language Disorder. Formerly called dysphasia, it is a neurological problem that affects the content, form, and utilization of a child’s language.
- Verbal Dyspraxia: This is a disorder of speech sound that brings about issues with the production of sound. It has been said to affect 1 to 2 from among every 1,000 kids.
- Hyperacusis: This is the condition of the intolerance for loud environments or even sounds.
- Hypoacusis: This is the complete or partial loss of hearing acuity. It occurs progressively or even acutely.
- Vestibular Neuritis and Labyrinthitis: Vestibular neuritis is a condition that occurs when the vestibular nerve becomes inflamed. The vestibular nerve is the nerve that receives information regarding – and also helps to maintain – balance.
- Misophonia: This is the intolerance to a wide range of varying sounds.
- Otitis: This is an ear infection – that occurs in the middle or external ear – which is quite common, particularly in small kids.
- Presbycusis: This is a form of hearing loss that is age-related and is generally characterized by having challenges hearing high-pitched sounds.
- Sinusitis: Also called rhinosinusitis, this condition is a common infection that occurs in the upper respiratory tract. It is an inflammation that occurs in the mucous membrane inside the sinuses.
- Deafblindness: This is a term that is utilized in describing the loss of two key senses: sight and hearing.
- Deafness: This refers to the scientific term ‘hypoacusis’. It means the total or partial loss of hearing acuity.
- Occupational Deafness: This is the kind of hearing loss that affects individuals who work in very loud environments.
- Sudden Hearing Loss: Just like its name portrays, this is a kind of hearing loss that suddenly occurs. In the majority of cases, it affects just one ear.
- APD (Auditory Processing Disorder): APD means having issues with understanding and analyzing sounds without any hearing loss problems being associated.
- OMDs (Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders): Generally, OMDs are brought about by improper positioning of a person’s tongue or lips when he is speaking, eating, or resting.
- Vertigo: This is a condition that makes it appear as if the world is moving around, even though it isn’t.
How Best to Cope With Hearing Loss
Hearing is one sense that many individuals take for granted, thus when they are deprived of it, they go on to experience the effects both mentally and physically. By getting individuals educated, professionals believe they can be encouraged to discuss what and how they feel, and also take action to work towards overcoming their negative feelings. The ways by which you can cope with hearing loss include;
- Visit a Professional of Hearing Care: If you suffer any kind of hearing loss, set an appointment up with the hearing care professional in your area and have somebody you trust accompany you. Sharing your experience of visiting the audiologist with a trusted person can help you feel truly supported and comfortable when communicating with the expert regarding your hearing health. The hearing care professional can guide as regards how you can enhance your situation.
- Explore Varying Modes of Communication: There are varying options of communication modes if, you have hearing loss. Aside from hearing technology, which you can wear, there is hearing rehabilitation too. Hearing rehab can help you to train the brain to utilize your hearing technology and enhance your challenging hearing areas. Another communication mode is sign language. It’s a language that’s quite beautiful and there are several opportunities to learn it. Individuals even utilize it as their primary language, but it could also be utilized in addition to English or any other language.
- Become Part of a Community: The hard of hearing and the deaf community is full of amazing support and quite powerful. You have lots of opportunities to become a part of any of these communities whether it’s locally or online. Being a member opens doors for bonding and conversation that are unique for anybody that has hearing loss. Living with hearing loss does not necessarily have to limit you in whatsoever way. If you are feeling discouraged or down, do not forget that you are not alone. There is lots of support for you out there.
Take Back Control of Your Life – It’s Not the End
If you have hearing loss as Huey Lewis had, you need to know that it is not the end of life. You have to understand that you need to return to your ‘center’; regain your ‘personal control’. You have to take your own future into your hands. 4 simple steps you can take to regain control of your life are;
- Give up the Need to Control all that’s Around You: Trying to control everything that is around you can be counter-intuitive as less control is surely more ‘personal’ control. You can be responsible only for yourself. The moment you cease from attempting to control what you can’t, you can redirect energy to gaining complete control of yourself – your emotions, choices, thoughts, habits, even healing. Being capable of giving up trying to control everything that is around you is possessing ultimate control of your ‘self’.
- Choose What You Desire, Decide and be Confident Regarding It: Make your choices as regards your hearing loss and your life, and then just let go of the rest. Who knows precisely where you will be in just one year. Just hope that it is somewhere that is so great that it is way beyond what you are even capable of imagining this instant. Life will surely happen as it should and you must never get yourself tied down out of the necessity to fit into some social standard or even fear.
- Take Full Responsibility: It is left for you to create a life you are proud of living, which makes you happy. If you desire living life with a healthy body, be responsible for your diet and fitness schedule. If you want to be rid of hearing loss, seek professional advice and get any necessary products to use. You ‘understand’ it; you only need to ‘do’ it. Never be among those who tolerate mediocre bullshit for payouts only to later regret. Take responsibility for all you do, and you will have a sense of ownership regarding your life and health.
- Live Your Life: If you refuse to wallow in self-pity but rather begin to make things happen, put yourself out there, take risks, and constantly improve, grow, and learn, you will surely feel a lot more in control of your life as you are the one making these things happen. This is one of Huey’s biggest secrets. You have to actually ‘do’ before things can be created in your life. Begin by committing yourself to minute things and doing whatever following through demands. Never fear to be weird, just ‘do’ for the benefit of practicing total control of your ‘self’ and your life in essence. If you feel like trying a newly released hearing aid, go on and do it and never let people’s doubts stop you. Remember that it’s your life that’s speeding by, thus, don’t just be a rider in it, be the driver.
What Not To Do – Supporting Good Ear Health
Your ears require full attention and care just like all other parts of your body. To make sure that they remain healthy for as long as they can, here are some things you must not do.
- Never put cotton swabs into your ear canal.
- Never crank the volume of your headphones up when listening to audios.
- Never ignore drainage or pain from the ears – visit your doctor immediately.
- Do not smoke. Smoking has been verified to affect hearing via the circulatory system.
- Never assume that hearing loss is only for older individuals. Hearing loss is a growing hazard to younger people as a result of being exposed to loud sounds through earbuds.
- Never be in loud environments without ear protection.
- Don’t work in loud environments without taking breaks.
- Never ignore your heart health – it is related to hearing health.
- Do not ignore ear wax in your ears. Its buildup can muffle sounds.
- Never insert sharp objects into your ears.
- Never take medications without checking for hearing risks.
- Never ignore any early hearing loss symptoms.
- Don’t ignore consuming the right diet that boosts hearing health.
Hearing Aids – Effective Functioning
If you have hearing loss and are considering getting hearing aids for the very first time, you will discover that you have a wide range of varying options in varying sizes and shapes, and also for varying hearing loss levels to choose from. Hearing aids are battery-powered electronic devices that are designed to enhance hearing. Tiny enough to be worn inside or behind your ear, they make sounds significantly louder. They can help you hear better in noisy and quiet environments. Your professional audiologist will work together with you to help you to find the most ideal type for your hearing loss and requirements from the following basic options;
- Invisible-In-The-Canal (IIC) Aids: This is a custom-fitted style that’s inserted farther into your ear canal than the other styles so that it’s invisible. IIC hearing aids are made to be taken out every day to advance ear health. They are best for moderate or mild hearing loss. Individual outcomes and invisibility can vary according to the anatomy of your ear.
- Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) Aids: CIC hearing devices and custom-made to completely fit into the ear canal. Just the tip of some tiny plastic ‘handle’ which, is utilized to insert or take out the device, is visible outside the canal. They are also for moderate or mild hearing loss.
- In-The-Canal (ITC) Aids: ITC hearing aids are custom-made to fit into the ear canal and with only a minor portion of the aid visible inside the outer ear. They are ideal for mildly severe or mild hearing loss.
- In-The-Ear (ITE) Aids: These are custom-made devices that are designed to fit into the outer portion of your ear. They are ideal for severe and mild hearing loss.
- Receiver-In-The-Canal (RIC) Aids: Hardly visible when you wear them, this style features devices whose speaker or the receiver is inside your ear canal. Thin electrical wires are utilized rather than acoustical tubes made with plastic, thus decreasing distortion. RIC aids offer an open, comfortable fit. They are ideal for moderate or mild hearing loss.
- Behind-The-Ear (BTC) Aids: Here, a casing which rests behind your ear houses the hearing technology. A plastic acoustical tube, which is clear, directs amplified sound into a customized earmold or earbud that fits into your ear canal. This is ideal for severe or moderate hearing loss.
If you are suffering hearing loss, also called Méniére’s Disease by some people, understand that it is not the end of life. If Huey Lewis could suffer from it, understand what it means to be suffering from it, battle it and come out of all the emotional and mental challenges and emotions that it presents, know the other symptoms that could show that one might have hearing loss, understand other hearing issues he is supposed to be aware of, take back control of his life after understanding that the challenge of hearing loss is not the end of life, understand all that he should run away from to maintain excellent ear health, and know the varying hearing aids that are available for him to choose from, so can you too. All that you require is the right information, and this article has certainly given you that.