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image of Electric guitar on a blue backgroundHuey Lewis and the News recently canceled all 2018 tour dates, stating that their lead singer has been diagnosed with Meniere’s disease and can not sing due to the associated hearing loss. The hearing loss impacts the lower frequencies and makes it “impossible” to find his pitch.

The singer’s statement appeared on the band’s website and reads:

“April 13, 2018 – Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing. Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch. I’ve been to the House Ear Institute, the Stanford Ear Institute, and the Mayo Clinic, hoping to find an answer. The doctors believe I have Meniere’s disease and have agreed that I can’t perform until I improve. Therefore the only prudent thing to do is to cancel all future shows. Needless to say, I feel horrible about this, and wish to sincerely apologize to all the fans who’ve already bought tickets and were planning to come see us. I’m going to concentrate on getting better, and hope that one day soon I’ll be able to perform again. Sincerely, Huey”

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder that causes vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. A Meniere’s episode can last as little as 20 minutes to multiple hours. The hearing loss will initially affect the lower frequencies but spread to other frequencies over time.

The cause is thought to be a fluid imbalance in the inner ear. There is no cure for Meniere’s disease but treatment may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Low salt diet or diuretic medication
  • Anti-vertigo medications
  • Medication injected into the middle ear; Gentamicin or Dexamethasone
  • Use of the Meniett device (air pressure pulse generator)
  • Hearing aid use for hearing loss and tinnitus
  • Vestibular rehabilitation
  • Surgery

As a fan of Huey Lewis and the News, I wish him the best of luck and hope to hear him take the stage and sing “The Heart of Rock & Roll” or “The Power of Love” soon.

- Audiology & Hearing Services of Charlotte
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