Most people associate hearing aids with members of the older generation. But in fact, some of the most beautiful and vibrant public figures in America wear hearing aids. From political legends to Hollywood actors to Olympic stars, these people are notable for their use of hearing aids.
While bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno is best known for his work on the "Incredible Hulk" TV show, Ferrigno’s ears were in less-than-incredible shape. As a child, Ferrigno became very ill. A severe ear infection caused him to lose a significant portion of his hearing, in the neighborhood of 70%. His hearing loss was so severe that not only did Ferrigno needed aural assistance, but he also required speech therapy to correct his vocalizations due to his impaired listening abilities.
Olympian David Smith is famous for his performance on the men’s volleyball team at the London Olympic games in 2012. Born with an aural disability, Smith has worn devices in both of his ears since the age of 3. His loss of aural capability is estimated at around 90%. While his disability sometimes makes it difficult to communicate with members of his volleyball team during a game, he is still considered one of the best in the sport.
Despite his legally deaf status, actor Leslie Nielsen served in the Canadian Air Force before embarking on his Hollywood career. After wearing devices in his ears from a relatively young age, Nielsen became one of the most employed and beloved actors of his generation.
Miss America 2005, Deidre Downs, has a good reason to act as a national spokeswoman for the Better Hearing Institute as she suffers from partial deafness herself. She has been very open regarding her use of aural enhancement devices, and she is an advocate for the early diagnosis of aural issues in children.
Actor Brian Kerwin is known for his roles in projects like "27 Dresses" and "One Life to Live." But the actor arguably made the biggest splash when he opted to wear his hearing aids in full view while acting on the series "Blue Bloods."
Even U.S. presidents have been known to wear these types of devices. Former President Bill Clinton started wearing his inter-ear devices in 1997. His aural difficulties stemmed from being near loud music in his youth, but may have also been age-related.
Speaking of famous figures who were exposed to loud music, The Who’s Pete Townshend also suffering from noise-induced damage to his eardrums, as well as tinnitus. He now wears two aural devices, which is not really much of a surprise, considering this rock legend was a part of the "Loudest Concert Ever" back in 1976.
Isn’t it surprising how many people from all walks of life use hearing aids to improve their quality of life? No matter their age, gender, or profession, there are always people who can benefit from these technological advances.