Health of Elaine Paige: the star of the musical theater “victim” of her career due to hearing loss

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The 73-year-old made her West End debut in a 1968 production of Hair. Since then, she has created roles such as Eva Perón in Evita and Grizabella in Cats, two musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber. However, the musician now accuses the industry which has given her notoriety for her hearing loss. In fact, the star’s hearing is so bad that she has to use two hearing aids.

Speaking to The Sun in 2019, Paige confessed to hiding both hearing aids behind her blonde locks.

“I am a victim of my career having worked in the music industry for over 55 years.

“Using headphones, singing with musicians and orchestras in a confined environment obviously damages the ear,” she told The Sun.

The star’s hearing aids were spotted as she enjoyed relaxing and playing tennis in Barbados, but with them the star is able to keep working, with a radio show dedicated to all things related to them. musicals on BBC Radio 2.

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“With the latest technology and the hearing aids that I wear, it doesn’t affect my gig, my recording or my job on the radio,” Paige added.

The star was also determined to keep singing for as long as possible, performing in Australia in 2019 ahead of the Covid pandemic.

The Mayo Clinic explains that hearing loss occurs gradually with age and is medically called presbycusis.

Aging and chronic exposure to loud noises both contribute to hearing loss as well as other factors like excess earwax. Unfortunately, these types of hearing loss cannot be reversed, but they can be improved.

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The first symptoms and telltale signs that people may notice with hearing loss are:

  • Choking of speech and other sounds
  • Difficulty understanding words, especially in background noise or in a crowd
  • Difficulty hearing consonants
  • Frequently asking others to speak slower, clearer, and louder
  • Need to increase the volume of TV or radio
  • Withdrawal from conversations
  • Avoidance of certain social parameters.

These symptoms occur when the hair or nerve cells in the cochlea, which send sound signals to the brain, are damaged or missing, which means that the electrical signals are not transmitted as efficiently, resulting in hearing loss.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders explains that other conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes can also contribute to hearing loss, as can the use of certain medications.

Hearing aids will not make hearing perfect, but they will make sounds louder and clearer, which in turn reduces the impact of hearing loss on an individual’s life.

The NHS explains that hearing aids are beneficial for:

  • Help you hear everyday sounds like doorbell and phone
  • Improve your ability to hear speech
  • Make you more confident when talking to people and make it easier for you to follow conversations in different environments
  • Helps you enjoy music and TV, at a volume that is comfortable for those around you.

Hearing aids vary widely depending on price, size, and where they sit on your ear. Perhaps the most common is a behind-the-ear hearing aid (BTE), which is made up of a small plastic device that sits behind the ear, attached to a plastic tube and a piece that fits. in your ear.

Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) hearing aids are similar to behind-the-ear hearing aids. The main difference is that the part of the device behind the ear is smaller in a RITE device. This makes them less visible and more suitable for hearing impaired people.

In contrast, in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids fill the area just outside the ear opening and cannot be seen from behind, but are visible from a side profile. These are more suitable for the hearing impaired, but may be more difficult to use compared to an outline hearing aid.

In-canal hearing aids (ITC) are similar to ITE hearing aids, but they are smaller and therefore can only fill the opening of the ear. These are less noticeable, but sometimes are not powerful enough for people with severe hearing loss.

Fitting for hearing aids can be a delicate process, but having regular check-ups with an audiologist can help you adjust in this process.

The NHS explains that hearing loss can’t always be prevented, but there are simple things you can do to help prevent loud noises from permanently damaging your hearing, regardless of your age.

These include the following:

  • Try to avoid loud noises
  • Be careful when listening to music
  • Protect your hearing during noisy activities and events
  • Precautions to be taken at work
  • Get regular hearing tests.


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