Eric Clapton health: ‘I’m going deaf’ Musician reveals his ongoing health problems

Eric Clapton, 75, revealed he was going deaf while speaking about ongoing health problems in 2018. In line with his documentary Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, the star chose to open up about his health in an interview with BBC Radio 2.


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While he confirmed at the time his plans to perform live, he admitted: “The only thing I’m concerned with now is being in my seventies and being able to be proficient.

“I mean, I’m going deaf, I’ve got tinnitus, my hands just about work.

“I’m hoping that people will come along and see me just because, or maybe more than because I’m a curiosity

“I know that is part of it, because it’s amazing to myself I’m still here.”

But he explained: “I have to get on the bottom of the ladder every time I play guitar, just to tune it.

“Then I have to go through the whole threshold of getting calluses [on the fingers] back, coordination.”

In years prior to that interview Clapton was open about his health issues.

Speaking to Classic Rock Magazine, he said: “I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year.

“It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy – which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg… I’ve had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old.”

So what is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is there name for hearing noises that aren’t caused by an outside source, says the NHS.

It’s not usually a sign of any serious conditions and generally improves over time.

Also there are treatments to help.


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The health body lists the following symptoms linked to the condition.

It says tinnitus can sound like:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Throbbing
  • Music or singing

It adds: “You may hear these sounds in 1 or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time.”

You should contact your GP if:

  • You have tinnitus regularly or constantly
  • Your tinnitus is getting worse
  • Your tinnitus is bothering you – for example, it’s affecting your sleep or concentration
  • You should ask for an urgent GP appointment if you have tinnitus:
  • After a head injury
  • With sudden hearing loss, weakness in the muscles of your face, or a spinning sensation (vertigo)
  • That beats in time with your pulse

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