National treasure and host of over 500 TV shows, Cilla Black has revealed her personal battle with hearing loss.
She blames her time spent working as a coat check girl in Liverpool's famous Cavern Club for her hearing impairment.
Cilla, who has surgically implanted hearing aids, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I blame the Cavern. All those years in a place with no proper acoustics, I think it may have done some damage.’
‘I think it's been a gradual thing... I didn't actually realise how bad it had got until I was with a friend in Barbados and I said to her, "Why are you whispering?" She said to me, "Cilla I am not whispering, it is you who has a hearing problem.
It's rock'n'roll that has done my hearing in.
I went to the Cool Britannia party at 10 Downing Street and a well-known rocker came up to me and said something and I said, "I can't hear you."
He replied, "I can't hear either."
He pointed out his hearing aid and told me to get one.’
Musicians more likely to suffer from hearing loss
Research published earlier this year by the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine outlined how musicians are four times more likely to suffer from hearing loss. Without proper protection, noise induced hearing loss is a very real possibility for performers or those who work in loud environments, as Cilla had.
Nick Taylor, Specsavers Hearing Centres audiologist, says: ‘Cilla’s discussion on her personal battle with hearing loss is interesting, and actually quite a common one for people from an era where hearing protection wasn’t as developed as it is now.
I see many people who have worked in live music or other occupations that exposed them to high decibel levels from 20-30 years ago, and their hearing is suffering as a result of having no proper protection.
Result of her age
On top of being a fan of live music, Cilla’s hearing is also likely a result of her age.
Age related hearing loss affects everyone from the age of fifty upwards, so this is most likely the reason she has noticed the problem gradually getting worse.
Her hearing will have been deteriorating year on year, exacerbating her pre-existing problem that stemmed back to her days in the Cavern Club.’
Book a free hearing test at your local Specsavers Hearing Centre.
Picture by Geoffrey Swaine/Rex