Will.i.am reveals long battle with tinnitus will eventually lead to him losing his hearing
It's been known for some time now that the Back Eyed Peas star and The Voice judge, Will.i.am, suffers from tinnitus, the chronic condition which causes a constant ringing sound in the ears. Now, in a recent interview, the musician has revealed that he's been told that this will eventually lead to irreversible hearing loss.
Back in 2018, he spoke on Visionaries, showing he'd gotten to a point with the condition where he felt comfortable opening up about it. For him, his music was an escape from other problems in his wife, and a way to keep "in order" - unfortunately, he has paid a price for his vocation. At the time, he said:
"A lot of kids have that ADD, whatever you want to call it, attention disorder. I just figured out a way to get my attention disorder in order.
"I don't know how to stop, I don't know how to slow down. It's not escape, it's just order. And the side effect is tinnitus. Do I have tinnitus? Hell yeah I got tinnitus. All day everyday. Can't sleep? Turn up the TV, drown out my tinnitus."
He'd previously spoken about what it felt like in an interview with The Sun in 2010, where again he saw it as a byproduct of his inability to "be still" and not work, while working helps him deal with the symptoms.
"Work calms me down," he said. "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 got worse."
Now, he has revealed more about the condition, even going as far to say that his hearing is deteriorating, and will eventually go completely.
"I’m 43, when I went to the doctor and got an ear test, they said, 'Your ears are that of someone a lot older,'" he said in an interview with The Sunday Times. "In 2007, 2013 and this year, I got all my frequency tests and the curve … it’s proper loss."
In the same interview he spoke about his recent dietary changes, with his move to veganism being made both to improve his own health and that of the world's. He also says that he has decided to opt out of his medication for high cholesterol and blood pressure, revealing that the new diet dropped his cholesterol in just ten days.
"I’m violently vegan. I’m fighting for a healthier me and a healthier planet. I started realising… urgh, I was eating, like, rotted animal lactate … that came from freaking cow’s t**t? That’s disgusting.
"We operate on frequencies that are wireless. We put satellites that orbit the planet. Why are we acting like freaking savage predators still? Haven’t we evolved?"
While his condition isn't one that can be cured, hopefully it doesn't worsen too quickly, and he can find a way to treat it and live with it in the coming years.