Heuy Lewis’s singing days may be over as he continues to learn about the rare ear disease that has taken his hearing almost entirely.
Lewis announced in April that he had become almost completely deaf. Sadly, he cancelled all of his appearances and tour dates as he focused on dealing with his new reality. At the time, he seemed optimistic that he would improve, but now he’s facing the fact that it may not be the case.
Lewis was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease. The rare inner ear disorder often causes vertigo, ear pressure and tinnitus. It can spread from one ear to the other, and sometimes results in permanent hearing loss.
This might be one of those cases. On Monday, the 67-year-old appeared on the Today Show, where he opened up to Jenna Bush Hager about the painful health development.
“I haven’t come to grips with the fact that I may never sing again,” he said bluntly. “I’m still hoping I’m gonna get better. They say a positive attitude is important.”
Lewis marvelled at how the disease seems to have specifically targetted music, noting that he can still hold conversations and even talk on the phone with no problem. When it comes to music, however, he said he can’t “find pitch,” adding: “It’s cacophony.”
“Even though I can hear you, we can talk, I can talk on the phone — I can’t sing,” he said to Bush Hager. “I can’t hear music. I can do everything but what I love to do the most, which is a drag.”
Lewis also said that there is no known cure for Meniere’s disease, though some cases have been known to improve over time.
“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.”
While he is maintaining his positive outlook, Lewis seemed to be preparing for a long fight rather than a quick fix.
“It can get better. It just hasn’t yet.”
In the appearance, Lewis also addressed his cancelled tour dates. Even as he struggles with a life-altering medical condition, the singer still had room in his heart to feel bad for disappointing his fans.
Huey Lewis and The News cancel all 2018 performances. See attached note from Huey. pic.twitter.com/FbWqDlGwnR
— Huey Lewis (@Huey_Lewis_News) April 13, 2018
“I want to say I’m sorry,” he said to his fans. “Clearly we’re not spring chickens, but I’ve always prided myself on being reliable. I really feel bad for my guys, my team that we’ve been doing this for so many years together.”