Will.i.am, real name William James Adams, has become a household name thanks in part from his days in the Grammy award winning pop band, Black Eyed Peas. He has entertained Britons as a judge on The Voice and The Voice Kids. Along the way to his stardom though, he suffered from a condition known as tinnitus that nearly cost him his career.
Tinnitus is when there is a perception of noises in the head and/or ear which has no external source.
It derives form the Latin word for ringing and those living with the condition may have to endure a ringing, buzzing, hissing, whistling or other noise.
Adams explained: “I can’t be still. Work calms me down. I can’t be quiet, as that’s when I notice the ringing in my ears.”
The most common cause of tinnitus is damage and loss of the tiny sensory hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear.
This tends to happen as people age, and it can slo result from prolonged exposure to excessively loud noise.
“I don’t know what silence sounds like anymore. Music is the only thing which eases my pain,” added Adams.
The NHS explain the condition as: “Ringing, buzzing, whooshing, humming or hissing. It is hearing noises that are not caused by an outside source.
“It’s not usually a sign of any serious conditions and generally improves over time.
“You should see a doctor if you have tinnitus regularly or constantly, if your tinnitus is getting worse or if your tinnitus is bothering you.
“An urgent appointment should be made if tinnitus has been caused by a head injury, sudden hearing loss, weakness in the muscles of the face, or a spinning sensation.”
The Health body said: “Things you can try to ease tinnitus: try to relax- deep breathing or yoga may help.
“Follow tips for food sleep if your tinnitus affects it, and join a support group – talking to other people with tinnitus may help you cope.
“Don’t have total silence – listening to soft music or sounds can distract you from the tinnitus.
“Don’t focus on it, as this can make it worse – hobbies and activities can help take your mind off it.”