Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp, has revealed he has hearing loss and is suffering from tinnitus.
Martin encourages regular hearing checks
With a showbiz career that spans more than three decades, Martin says that years standing in front of giant sound systems has led to hearing damage. Now he’s encouraging others to have regular checks following a recent hearing test at Specsavers Audiologists.
‘I was taken aback when the audiologist told me I have hearing loss, but really it’s not all that surprising considering I’ve been in the music industry since I was 17,’ said Martin.
‘It’s one of those things that you don’t really notice disappearing until you have a hearing check and then all of a sudden you realise it’s dipped. It’s a funny thing.’
The former EastEnders actor, who is supporting Specsavers Audiologists Listen Up! campaign, continued: ‘Hearing loss is such an isolating thing yet people still get hung up thinking that it’s a sign of their age.
'I think it’s more ageing having to ask people to repeat themselves because you can’t hear what they are saying, so that’s why I want others to get checked.’
'A common outcome for someone who has been in a band'
Gordon Harrison, Specsavers chief audiologist said: ‘Martin’s hearing loss is typical of a person’s caused by exposure to very loud noise. That means that when it comes to specific high frequency sounds his hearing drops dramatically. Sadly this is a common outcome for someone who has been in a band for so many years.’
Martin also had trouble deciphering whether the high frequency sounds he heard during the test were in fact real sounds or tinnitus, which also affects him: ‘If I go to see a band the next day my tinnitus is really loud, but I’m lucky in that I normally only notice it if someone mentions it to me.
'But the older you get, the more you have to keep an eye on all these things, don’t you? If your hearing starts getting worse, go and get it checked out and don’t be embarrassed to do whatever you can to make it better.’
A regular part of the ageing process
Gordon continued: ‘Hearing checks every year are an important part of a regular healthcare routine for anyone over the age of 55. Hearing loss is a gradual thing so most people don’t realise there’s a problem until their hearing has really deteriorated.
‘It’s important to remember that hearing loss is just part of the ageing process. It’s something that happens to everyone eventually and the Listen Up! campaign aims to normalise hearing loss, raise awareness and encourage regular checks.’