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Huey Lewis speaks about sudden hearing loss, Meniere’s disease

Singer Huey Lewis recently gave an interview in which he discussed his struggle with sudden hearing loss from Meniere’s Disease. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Singer Huey Lewis recently gave an interview in which he discussed his struggle with sudden hearing loss from Meniere’s Disease. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Huey Lewis is speaking about his experience with a disease that suddenly took away his hearing and led to the cancellation of his 2018 shows.

On April 13, Lewis, who is the front man of Huey Lewis & the News, canceled his 40 remaining 2018 tour shows on his doctor's orders.

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"Two and a half months ago, just before a show in Dallas, I lost most of my hearing," Lewis said in a statement. "Although I can still hear a little, one on one, and on the phone, I can't hear music enough to sing. The lower frequencies distort violently, making it impossible to find pitch... The doctors believe I have Meniere's Disease and have agreed that I can't perform until I improve. 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."

Lewis, 67, appeared on the "Today" show Monday to speak about his sudden hearing loss, which he confirmed was Meniere's disease. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, Ménière's disease is an inner ear disorder that causes vertigo, hearing loss, ringing in the ears and a feeling of congestion in the ear.

“As I walked to the stage (in Dallas), it sounded like there was a jet engine going on,” Lewis said. “I knew something was wrong. I couldn't find pitch. Distorted. Nightmare. It’s cacophony.”

“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.”

Related: Huey Lewis & the News cancelling 2018 shows due to lead singer’s hearing loss

Lewis consulted multiple doctors before it was determined he had Meniere’s disease.

“The bad news about Meniere’s is, 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.

“There is not (a cure), but the good news is it can get better. It just hasn’t yet.”

“I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again,” Lewis said. “I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.”

Lewis, who is finishing up an album and developing a Broadway show based on his music, is working with the Starkey Hearing Foundation on experimental treatments to help him filter out noise to find pitch.

Watch Lewis' interview on Meniere's disease below.