Huey Lewis is the lead singer, songwriter and harmonica player of the band Huey Lewis and the News. Huey Lewis and the News is a pop rock band based out of San Francisco, who had a string of extremely successful singles through the eighties and early nineties. The band was most well known for their retro throwback feel and Huey’s distinctive voice. Their most successful album, Sports, was released in 1983 and during this month in 1987 it was recognized as a 7x Multi-Platinum album by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Huey Lewis and the News begin touring again in 2013 with their XL Tour. The band has done a bit of touring since then, but that has come to an unfortunate and abrupt end due to the lead singer’s hearing loss.
What Happened to Huey Lewis?
In April, Huey sent a heartfelt message to his fans announcing the cancellation of all his remaining 2018 tour dates due to his hearing loss. The singer wrote, “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”. Huey explains that he has been to multiple doctors and clinics who all believe he has Ménière’s Disease, and agree that he cannot continue performing music until he improves. “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”, Huey added (https://www.hueylewisandthenews.com/).
The singer-songwriter is keeping a positive attitude about the diagnosis. “It can get better. It just hasn’t yet,” Lewis said of the Ménière’s disease. “I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again. I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better”. (https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/huey-lewis-talks-menieres-disease-it-can-get-better-it-just-hasnt-yet-629842/).
What is Ménière’s Disease?
Ménière’s disease is a relatively rare inner ear disorder that causes severe dizziness (known as vertigo), tinnitus, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ears. These symptoms are caused by a buildup of fluid in the balance and hearing control center of the inner ear, called the labyrinth. The labyrinth is composed of two sections, the bony labyrinth and the membranous labyrinth. Inside the membranous labyrinth exists a fluid called endolymph. When this fluid builds up due to Ménière’s disease, the brain gets mixed signals regarding its position in space, thus causing severe vertigo. The fluid buildup is also responsible for the other symptoms of the disease such as the hearing loss, tinnitus, and feelings of fullness.
Can Ménière’s Disease be Treated?
Currently, there is not a cure for the disorder; however, there are multiple treatment options available to help one find relief from the symptoms. Since typically the most disabling symptom of Ménière’s is vertigo, dizziness medications may be prescribed to help shorten the duration or frequency of attacks. Injections to the inner ear of a corticosteroid are sometimes used to help relieve the dizziness. The FDA recently also approved a device that sits outside of the ear that sends intermitted air pressure pulses to the middle ear to help relieve symptoms.
For most people, including Huey Lewis, changes in diet are a key to helping relieve the symptoms. Limiting intake of salt, caffeine, chocolate and alcohol can help to lessen the frequency and severity of the symptoms. Quitting smoking can also help.
For other people, surgery is the only option to help find relief. In fact, it is estimated that about 4 in 10 people with Ménière’s disease will need surgery in order to experience relief from the disorder.
How HearCare Can Help
If you are experiencing episodes of tinnitus (ringing in your ears) or vertigo, or are concerned about changes in your hearing, reach out to our friendly team today. We look forward to working with you to help you find relief.
From our family to his, we wish Huey Lewis a safe, healthy and quick recovery so he and his band can continue doing with they love and making the world more beautiful with their music.