It’s easy to feel alone when you are dealing with hearing loss, but in reality, you are not. Having impaired hearing is a common condition in the United States, and it can affect men and women, as well as children and adults. Hearing loss does not discriminate in regards to social status and class. It affects both the rich and poor and even celebrities and athletes fall into this equation. While this condition can feel isolating and lonely, know that you aren’t alone in this situation and that having hearing loss doesn’t have to prevent you from living a productive, successful life.
Interested to know who the famous athletes and celebrities with hearing loss are? These notable figures all have some degree of hearing loss, but they haven’t let that get in the way of their goals and dreams. Check out this short list of famous people who are among the 48 million Americans who cope with hearing loss.
You may have heard of Lance Allred, as he played with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA as a power forward. However, Lance was born with 75-80% hearing loss, but he never let that stop him from becoming the first legally deaf player in the NBA. Lance began playing basketball in the eighth grade and wore a hearing aid, but he still worked hard to move up the ranks until he landed on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since his playing days, Lance gives back to the sport that has given him so much and serves as a great role model for other young athletes who are hard of hearing.
A few years ago Whoopi Goldberg appeared on “The View” and opened up about her hearing impairment. She even confessed that she uses hearing aids! She admitted she likes everything “really loud” so that was probably the cause of her hearing loss, and do you know what her word of advice was? If you have any type of hearing impairment, go and get it checked out. If it’s a treatable case, there’s no reason to ignore it, get it treated. Whoopi is now an advocate for music safety and has even partnered with the Starkey Foundation to help raise awareness.
Could you imagine playing ice hockey in the NHL, deaf? Jim Kyte was an NHL player who played until 1997, and he was the first legally deaf player in the National Hockey League. Jim was diagnosed at the age of 3 with hereditary hearing loss, but that didn’t stop him from playing in the NHL for 15 seasons! Known as a “giant on the ice,” Jim was a tough and intimidating player that heeded his father’s advice that he could do anything he wanted, as long as you have passion and you work hard at it. Jim did work hard, as he learned to adapt his game to overcome his condition so he could live his dream as a professional hockey player.
Many don’t realize that Halle Berry is partially deaf, but it’s true. Despite being one of today’s most famous actresses, Halle lost 80% of her hearing in one of her ears. How did this happen? Unfortunately, Halle hasn’t had an easy past, as she was the victim of domestic violence years ago. One of her ex-boyfriends was abusive and struck her repeatedly on the side of her head. Now, besides being an Academy Award-winning actress, Halle uses her experience to help raise awareness and to help women break the cycle of domestic violence.