Will.i.am health: The Voice judge’s condition is ‘gradually getting worse’ – symptoms

Will.i.am, 44, first introduced the world to his talents when he founded the chart-topping pop group Black Eyed Peas, although it turns out his career was only in the foothills at this point. Building on that momentum, he went on to release four solo albums and produce records for the likes of Cheryl, Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber. Not content with being with a music mogul, the artist has since become a TV sensation as a judge and mentor on ITV’s The Voice.


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Alongside his aptitude for different disciplines, WILL.I.AM also lives with an irritating health condition.

A few years back, Will.i.am revealed he suffers from tinnitus.

According to the NHS, tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that are not caused by an outside source.

What does tinnitus sound like?

health site explains, tinnitus can sound like:

  • Ringing
  • Buzzing
  • Whooshing
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Throbbing

Music or singing

“You may hear these sounds in one or both ears, or in your head. They may come and go, or you might hear them all the time,” adds the health site.

Speaking to The Sun, Will.i.am revealed that his busy schedule has helped him manage his tinnitus, however.

He said: “I can’t be still. Work calms me down.

“I can’t be quiet, as that’s when I notice the ringing in my ears.”

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Immersing himself in music to alleviate the pain has also helped to keep his creative drive in full swing, the artist revealed.

Although, his symptoms still cause him grief: “There’s always a beep there every day, all day, like now. I don’t know exactly how long I’ve had this, but it’s gradually getting worse.”

Other ways to treat tinnitus

As the NHS explains, if the cause of your tinnitus is unknown or cannot be treated, your GP or specialist may refer you for a type of talking therapy.

This could be:

  • Tinnitus counselling – to help you learn about your tinnitus and find ways of coping with it
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – to change the way you think about your tinnitus and reduce anxiety
  • tinnitus retraining therapy – using sound therapy to retrain your brain to tune out and be less aware of the tinnitus


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“Tinnitus retraining therapy may be available on the NHS for people with severe or persistent tinnitus. It’s widely available privately,” adds the health body.

There is also self-tips you can follow that may help to ease tinnitus.

According to the NHS you should:

  • Try to relax – deep breathing or yoga may help
  • Try to find ways to improve your sleep, such as sticking to a bedtime routine or cutting down on caffeine
  • Join a support group – talking to other people with tinnitus may help you cope

You should follow Will.i.am’s advice and avoid total silence, says the NHS.

“Listening to soft music or sounds (called sound therapy) can distract you from the tinnitus,” explains the health body.

You should try to avoid focussing on it, as this can make it worse – hobbies and activities can help take your mind off it, notes the health site.

What causes tinnitus?

Will.i.am’s confusion as to how it started is common because it’s not always clear what causes tinnitus.

According to the NHS, it has been linked to:

  • Some form of hearing loss
  • Ménière’s disease
  • Conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders or multiple sclerosis
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Taking certain medication – tinnitus can be a side effect of some Chemotherapy medicines, antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin

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