Since hearing loss affects so many people, it should be no surprise that there are a number of famous people that wear hearing aids. For some, their rise to fame came long after they were wearing hearing aids, but certainly none of them were prevented from achieving great things in each of their areas despite worsening hearing loss.

1. Jodie Foster

An Academy Award-winning actress, Jodie Foster isn’t generally open about her private life so not much is known about the cause of her hearing loss, but it is known that she wears hearing aids. She once confessed to a reporter that she wasn’t taking very good care of herself and mentioned untreated hearing loss as an example of this. However, since she has since been seen with hearing aids in place, it does look like she is now taking care of herself.


2. Bill Clinton

It took years for this former U.S. President to seek treatment for his hearing loss. During that time, he simply tried to ignore his hearing loss, but as it became increasingly difficult to hear in noisy situations (like political rallies and around crowds of peoples), he finally did something about it. When he paid a visit to an audiologist, it was found that he has high-frequency hearing loss, which is the most common type. Now, he wears an in-canal hearing aid in each ear to compensate for his hearing loss.


3. Lance Allred

This former-NBA player started wearing hearing aids in both ears since he was very young since he was born deaf. His hearing loss is estimated to be between 75 and 80 percent, meaning that he had a lot to overcome throughout his life. This got even more difficult as he pursued his dreams as a professional basketball player, but he still managed to become the first legally deaf player in the NBA. He later wrote an autobiography called, “Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA.”


4. Whoopi Goldberg

This is an example of someone that didn’t let her hearing loss hold her back from achieving something that few performers do: winning a Tony, and Oscar, an Emmy, and a Grammy. Her hearing loss was a result of spending years in her youth listening to music too loudly. Now, she has low-end frequency hearing loss and wears hearing aids to compensate. It’s clear that this writer, comedian, actress, and activist never let her hearing loss keep her back.


5. Brian Kerwin

An actor that has done everything from Broadway, movies, and TV shows, Brian Kerwin has to work extra-hard during rehearsals to make sure that he knows the queues and his lines so that when it comes time to hit the stage or the camera starts rolling, he’ll be ready since he typically has to take his hearing aids out while performing. However, he was allowed to leave them in during a guest appearance on CBS’s Blue Bloods despite there being nothing mentioned in the episode about his hearing loss. For him and many hearing-aid advocates, this was a huge step forward in normalizing hearing aid usage.


6. Peter Townshend

After many years of performing rock and roll in the band The Who, it was no surprise that this musician and song writer ended up with hearing loss. Not only did he often hit the stage without using proper hearing protection, but he also frequently wore headphones and kept the volume up too loud and used to set off real explosives with one of his bandmates. Because of that, he now has to wear hearing aids in both ears and has become an advocate for raising awareness about hearing loss for rock musicians.

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