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Ludwig Van Beethoven: Overcoming Tinnitus

Contributed by Sarah Sheehan

17/06/2021 00:00:00 • 2 min read

Tags • Tinnitus

Ludwig Van Beethoven was born in 1770 and became one of the most famous composers the world has ever known. However, most of his works were composed after the onset of his hearing problems, with arguably his best works being written after his hearing had almost entirely deteriorated.

Beethoven was open about the despair he felt at being unable to hear, but he continued to compose despite his struggles with depression, and experimented with ways to work with his hearing loss. He documented his struggles with tinnitus, the constant ringing in the ears that causes so many frustrations to sufferers today.

How Can A Composer Work With Hearing Loss Or Tinnitus?

  1. The other senses may compensate for hearing loss. Many people who suffer a loss of one of their senses report that their other senses become sharper to compensate. Some musicians, including Beethoven, speak of using their fingers to ‘feel’ the sound of the music they play through vibrations.

  2. Sound is heard by the brain. In a non-hearing impaired person, the ear is simply the means by which sound travels to the brain, which is where sounds are heard and translated for meaning. If the ear is no longer working, the brain appears to be able to re-learn the process of listening and to compensate for the loss of hearing, creating sound directly in the brain in some cases.

  3. Using hearing aid devices.  Hearing aid technology is highly specialised and unique in its complexity. Many hearing aids and cochlear implants are able to restore a good deal of hearing ability and to filter out background noise or distractions, which can be especially off-putting for a musician with hearing loss.

  4. Seek specialist advice. Tinnitus, in particular, is a condition that causes difficulties and distress. Seek out an expert who can advise you on the condition, and do not accept that you will not find a way to relieve it, since many forms of tinnitus treatment can be trialled to reduce the symptoms of the problem and alleviate suffering.

Find Role Models With Hearing Loss

Contemporary composer Michael Berkeley, who also lives with hearing loss, has discussed the ways in which hearing loss can be overcome by those who compose music. People like him, who do not allow hearing loss to restrict their lives, are a great inspiration to anyone diagnosed with hearing loss, particularly young people who may feel that their prospects will be limited by their condition.

Take A Free Hearing Test At Hidden Hearing

You can have a free hearing test and talk to an audiologist at Hidden Hearing, Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions. Our national network includes over 80 clinics, so we’re sure to have a location near you.

Book a free hearing test

If you are living with hearing loss, you can try our range of excellent digital hearing aids to find the right solution for you, so contact Hidden Hearing online today or pop into your local branch to meet our friendly team of experts.

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Written by: Sarah Sheehan, Chief Audiologist, ISHAA Member
Sarah Sheehan is an esteemed member of our HR, L&D and Compliance Department, who joined Hidden Hearing in 2018 as an audiologist. Sarah’s career has seen her work in a wide range of areas within the company and she is committed to providing education about audiology and keeping abreast of current audiology trends.