Politicians With Hearing Loss
Like many boomers, Clinton ignored his hearing difficulties for years until doctors diagnosed him with high-frequency hearing deficiency, the most common form of hearing loss. Described as an inability to distinguish sounds in noisy, crowded situations with a lot of background chatter (such as restaurants, theaters or political rallies), it’s linked to aging and exposure to loud noise. Clinton now wears two in-canal hearing aids.
Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to wear hearing aids while in office to help with his difficulty hearing high-pitched sounds. He first wore one in his right ear; in 1985 he wore another in his left ear.
John Howard suffered a hearing impairment in his youth, leaving him with a slight speech impediment, and he continues to wear a hearing aid. It also influenced him in subtle ways, limiting his early academic performance; encouraging a reliance on an excellent memory; and in his mind ruling out becoming a barrister as a likely career.