will.i.am health: The Voice judge suffers from this ear condition – could you have it too?
Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am, 43, has had an extremely successful career as a singer and music producer, and is currently a judge on ITV’s the Voice. As well as producing his own music, the star has also produced music for some of the world’s biggest artists, including Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and U2. This comes despite him battling with a condition with his ears, called tinnitus. But what is tinnitus and how do you know if you have it?
I can’t be quiet, as that’s when I notice the ringing in my ears
According to the NHS, “tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that aren’t caused by an outside source.”
It’s not usually a sign of any serious conditions and generally improves over time, but symptoms can be extremely annoying to live with.
The NHS states that tinnitus can sound like:
- Music or singing
You may hear these sounds in one or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time.
“I can’t be still. Work calms me down,” will.i.am told The Sun.
“I can’t be quiet, as that’s when I notice the ringing in my ears.
“There’s always a beep there every day, all day, like now. I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had this, but it’s gradually getting worse.”
According to the NHS, there are treatments which may help to reduce symptoms, which should help to improve the condition over time.
10 Facts about tinnitus
Tinnitus: 10 facts about the distressing hearing condition.
30% of people will experience tinnitus at some point in their lives
If tinnitus is caused by something treatable, such as an ear infection or build-up of ear wax, your GP will refer you to a specialist for treatment.
If the cause of your tinnitus is unknown or can’t be treated, your GP or specialist may refer you for therapy to help you cope with the sounds.
The NHS advises seeing a GP if you have tinnitus regularly or constantly, if your tinnitus is getting worse, or if your tinnitus is bothering you – for example, if it’s affecting your sleep or concentration.
will.i.am revealed his tinnitus diagnosis has spurred him to make even more music.
He explained to The Sun: “I don’t know what silence sounds like anymore. Music is the only thing which eases my pain.”
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