Huey Lewis, who revealed in April that he had lost his hearing due to Meniere’s disease, is dealing with the possibility that he may never sing again.
While the health issues that forced him to cancel all his upcoming tour dates may be treatable, the 67-year-old singer is trying to mentally prepare himself for the worst-case scenario: never being able to perform again.
“I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again,” the “Heart and Soul” singer told Jenna Bush Hager on “Today.” “I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.”
Lewis initially revealed his struggles on social media, explaining that after losing most of his hearing just before a show, he had been to see several specialists before receiving his startling diagnosis. Meniere’s disease is an inner-ear condition that may cause pressure or ringing in the ear. Attacks can last several hours, with accompanying discomforts like dizziness, nausea and other vertigo-like symptoms. Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes it, but it generally occurs in adults between the ages of 40 and 60.
“As I walked to the stage (in Dallas), it sounded like there was a jet engine going on,” he told Bush Hager. “I knew something was wrong. I couldn’t find pitch. Distorted. Nightmare. It’s cacophony.”
The interesting thing about Lewis’ attacks? They only occur when he is performing. “Even though I can hear you, we can talk, I can talk on the phone — I can’t sing. I can’t hear music. I can do everything but what I love to do the most, which is a drag,” he continued.
While there is no cure for the disease, Lewis’ doctors have told him that his condition may improve. “They don’t know what it is,” he said. “It’s a syndrome based on symptoms, and it affects people differently. All they can come up with as treatment is diet. No caffeine, lower salt and keep your fingers crossed. It can get better. It just hasn’t yet.”
Other ways of treating the condition include vestibular rehabilitation exercises, such as eye or head and shoulder exercises, or aerobic exercises like walking, running, yoga and tai chi — all sports effective for balance training.
And, yeah, Lewis’ “positive attitude” is also key. In fact, scientific evidence in the form of multiple studies support that having one can actually improve your health — especially when it comes to someone struggling with serious health issues and incurable illnesses.
Huey, we are praying for the best and sending positive vibes your way. Here’s to hoping “The Power of Love” will help get you back on stage!
Read more: Maria Menounos, Serena Williams and 10 Other Celebrities Who Survived a Terrifying Health Scare
What Do YOU Think?
Have you ever heard of Meniere’s disease? Do you believe having a positive outlook like Lewis is beneficial for your health? How would you cope with an illness that prevented you from doing something that made you happy?