Will.i.am health: The Voice judge doesn’t let his condition affect him – star’s symptoms

Will.i.am, 44, is currently judging ITV’s The Voice competition, and appearing on Loose Women this week to speak about what he thought of this year’s line-up of judges, the star opened up about his battle with tinnitus.


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When asked about the condition by the Loose Women panel, Will.i.am said: “Yeah I have it. For any job, whether you’re playing sports, you’re gonna have bad knees or bad ankles – anything that requires you to be in these types of environments, something’s going to go weak.

“For me it’s like the ‘eeeee’, which is cool.”

When asked whether tinnitus affects the star’s hearing, he answered: “No, not at all. I’m not hearing impaired.

“I went to my ear, nose and throat guide, and he was like ‘you’ve got to turn down the music,’ but then I can’t hear it. The whole point of music is turning it up!”

Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that are not caused by an outside source.

It’s not usually the sign of anything serious and generally improves over time.

Will.i.am has been outspoken about having the condition over the last few years.

He first spoke about having the condition which affects many musicians who ahem been exposed to loud music for prolonged periods in December 2010.

In an interview with Express.co.uk at the end of last year, it was clear Will.i.am has come to terms with his condition.

He said: “It’s just my tinnitus. I have it. It just comes from, you know, being around loud environments, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

“I try not to think about it, like, oh my gosh I always hear *buzzing*.

“Like now I hear it. Its jut, it is what it is.”


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Touching on there currently been no cure for tinnitus, the star said: “The sad thing about it is, if you’re like 70 and you still want to like do it, you can take like a pull and they figure that out. You know? But they haven’t figured it out – hearing.

“It’s just crazy. If you can’t see it, figure that out. But they haven’t figured that out.”

Symptoms of tinnitus

The NHS says tinnitus can sound like:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Throbbing
  • Music or singing

These sounds may be heard in one or both ears, or in your head. They may also come and go, or you might hear them all the time.

How to ease the symptoms of tinnitus

The health body also recommends some things you can do to help tinnitus.

It recommends:

  • Trying to relax – deep breathing or yoga may help
  • Trying to find ways to improve sleep, such as sticking to bedtime routine or cutting down on caffeine
  • Joining a support group – talking to other people with tinnitus may help you cope

It advises against:

  • Having total silence – listening to soft music or sounds (called sound therapy) can distract you from the tinnitus
  • Not focusing on it, as this can make it worse – hobbies and activities can help take your mind off it

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