Beethoven’s Tragic Hearing Loss

Beethoven’s Tragic Hearing Loss

December 18, 2018 In the News

"For two years I have avoided almost all social gatherings because it is impossible for me to say to people 'I am deaf'," he wrote. "If I belonged to any other profession it would be easier, but in my profession it is a frightful state."  

Ludwig von Beethoven is one of the most immortal composers of all time. Born in December 1770, Beethoven enjoyed early success as a composer and musician. Tragically, he suffered from progressive hearing loss that reportedly started in his mid- to late 20s. 

There are some reports of initial symptoms of tinnitus and possible hyperacusis, though not confirmed. Although the exact nature of his early adult onset hearing loss is unknown, the profound effects of his condition have been captured in letters to friends and truly remains relevant to our patients today. The fact that his passion and ability to compose music persisted long after his ears were able to hear is as inspirational as it is bitter sweet.   


Classic FM Radio. (2018) So if Beethoven was completely deaf, how did he compose? October 12.

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