We listen to his musical melodies to this day. He was a genius when it came to music. He composed beautiful pieces of music that have survived over generations. Most importantly, he was deaf! Yes, we are talking about none other than Ludwig von Beethoven.
Beethoven was a brilliant musician as well as a talented composer who was born in the month of December in the year 1770. Even though he was very successful as a musician, he began to suffer from hearing damage that began in his 20’s. Unfortunately, his hearing damage progressed to deafness due to his own admission of being embarrassed about owning up to his hearing loss, especially in social gatherings. Over time he gradually lost his hearing yet continued to compose brilliant musical pieces.
In those days, treatment for hearing loss was limited and the stigma was tenfold. Beethoven reported a few initial signs of conditions like tinnitus as well as hyperacusis, but these reports are difficult to verify. His letters later in life confirm the difficulty he faced due to his hearing loss. Even though the treatments for hearing loss have come a long way since the 1700’s, the difficulties faced by those with hearing loss remain more or less the same.
Many, like Beethoven, deny having hearing loss in front of people. As a result, their hearing grows progressively weaker until they face permanent hearing damage. Unlike the 1700’s, we now have state of the art technology to cater to all types of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is the third most prevalent health condition in America today. The stigma related to hearing loss has also significantly reduced, while the awareness of the importance of hearing health has increased. With all these changes, it would make sense to seek early medical intervention when it comes to dealing with signs of hearing loss.
A brilliant musician suffered a terrible fate simply due to lack of awareness and timely treatment for his hearing loss. Even though his musical compositions still linger in many a mind today, having him be able to hear his own musical melodies would surely have brought Beethoven immense joy. Thankfully, we do not need to face the same fate. Seek the help of a qualified audiologist today if you or a loved one is showing signs of hearing loss.