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Phil Collins Drums up for the Fight Against Hearing Loss

Not all musicians suffering from hearing loss attribute the main cause to loud music. Phil Collins, British solo artist and lead singer of Genesis, first noticed an issue when he suddenly lost all hearing in one ear.

 "At the time, I was recording in the States and had spent the day singing in the studio. Then I collected my daughter from school. We got home, had something to eat, played a video game. Then suddenly my ear went sssssssshh. Within a second my left ear simply closed down. As if I had been under water. I tried to clear it by pinching my nose,” he said.

Collins was diagnosed with suffering an infarction of the inner ear (inadequate flow of blood to the ear), which was caused by stress. The condition often manifests as vertigo, tinnitus, imbalance, deafness and nausea.

The symptoms were severe enough that the 61-year-old singer-songwriter, drummer, pianist and sometimes actor was forced to stop touring live and to re-examine his lifestyle. "Although I’m not a deeply religious person, it seems like God — whoever He may be — slapped me on the ear and said: 'Will you finally hit the brakes and slow down?! Take this as a warning and take things easier from now on.'"

The seven-time Grammy Award and five-time Brit Award winner is one of only three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) to have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide as both solo artists and again as key members of a band.

In 2005, Collins was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Recording Arts, at the annual House Ear Institute Benefit, for speaking out on deafness issues.

Collins is not the only musician that suffers from complications brought on by his trade. Find out how Neil Young and Eric Clapton have learned to treat and live with their hearing ailments.

To find out how to protect yourself from hearing loss and stay connected to the people and sounds you love, schedule an appointment at a Connect Hearing clinic near you.

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