“It’s years and years of being on the road and being two feet in front of cymbals and drums,” he said. “So high frequencies, I can’t hear anymore. I’ll be listening to people and they’ll tell me their names and I can’t hear anymore.”
The singer said he’s consulted with specialists about using “in ears,” which are hearing aids that help block out background noise for performers, but he remains reluctant to use them ― despite the obvious risks of not using them.
“You can’t repair your hearing. Once it goes, it goes. You can hope to stop the damage,” he said. “It’s absolutely a worry of mine.”
McGrath also pointed to fellow singer Huey Lewis as a “warning” for performers like himself.
“As I get older, my health’s going, I have knee problems, back problems. So I am working on the hearing now,” he said. “It’s something that recently last year my doctor said, ‘You’ve got to step back a little bit,’ and the whole Huey Lewis thing has been a warning for all of this for sure.”
Lewis was forced to cancel all of his future tours in April 2018 after telling fans he had Meniere’s disease, which is an inner ear disorder.
“Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing,” Lewis said in a statement to fans last year. “I can’t hear music well enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently making it impossible to find pitch.”
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