Will.i.am has become a UK fan favourite thanks, in part, to his impressive judging skills on The Voice UK. The star has been offering music hopefuls his guidance and critique for over eight years. Will made a name for himself in the popular pop group, Black Eyed Peas and went on to produce for other famous artists, proving just how talented he is. To say music is his passion is an understatement and for Will to possibly lose that talent due to health conditions is heart-breaking.
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Will revealed he suffers from tinnitus which is a condition that involves the person having a perception of sound when no corresponding external sound is present.
While often described as a ringing, it may also sound like a clicking, buzzing, hiss or roaring.
Speaking to The Sun, the star said: “I can’t be quiet, as that’s when I notice the ringing in my ears.”
Tinnitus means the hearing of sounds which can sometimes be soft or loud, low or high pitched and appear to be coming from one or both ears.
Many times, tinnitus comes on gradually. In some people the sound may interfere with concentration or cause anxiety or depression.
Will said: “There’s always a beep there every day, all day. I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had this, but it’s gradually getting worse.”
The British Tinnitus Association said: “Tinnitus is not a disease or illness; it is a symptom generated within the auditory system and usually caused by an underlying condition.
“It is difficult to pinpoint its exact location. It may be low, medium or high pitched and can be heard as a single noise or as multiple components.
“Occasionally people have tinnitus that can seem like a familiar tune or song.
“This is known as musical tinnitus or musical hallucination. Some people have tinnitus which has a beat in time with their heartbeat.
“This is called pulsatile tinnitus.”
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Sadly, for Will his condition appears to be worsening. Discussing this to The Sunday, Will admitted: “When I went to the doctor and got an ear test, they said, ‘your ears are that of someone a lot older.’
“In 2007, 2013 and this year, I got my frequency tests and the curve, it’s a proper loss.”
Tinnitus is known to cause a change to the transmission of the signal going from the ear to the part of the brain where sound is processed, known as the auditory cortex.
Prevention of tinnitus involves avoiding loud noise. If a person has an underlying cause, treating it may lead to improvements of the perceived sounds.
Otherwise, typically, treatment involves talk therapy. Sound generators or hearing aids may also help as treatment.
As of 2013, there were no effective medications. It is a common disorder, affecting around 10 – 15 percent of people.
Most are able to tolerate it but for around one to two percent of people it is a significant problem in their lives.
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