The Truth About Dave Grohl's Hearing Loss

As Nirvana's former drummer and Foo Fighters frontman, Dave Grohl has spent the majority of his life on stage (via Biography). However, it seems that his years as a rockstar have finally caught up to him. Now 53, Grohl recently told "The Howard Stern Show" that he has suffered hearing loss all thanks to his career (per the New York Daily News). This is not the first time he's spoken about his hearing issues. In a September, 2021 interview with the BBC, Grohl admitted that he's practically deaf and has had tinnitus for the last 30 years.

Tinnitus is a ringing in the ear that can affect musicians, especially those playing amplified instruments (per The International Tinnitus Journal). The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that this is due to the continuous exposure to blaring noise. The constant clamor damages the cells in the inner ear, which can lead to hearing loss. Ultimately, 90% of people with tinnitus can lose their hearing. Other musicians suffering from tinnitus include Chris Martin, Eric Clapton, and Ozzy Osbourne, among others.

Dave Grohl has been reading lips for 20 years

People reports that Grohl told Stern (posted on YouTube) he has not gone to a doctor to officially diagnose him with tinnitus but is certain he has it. In addition, he admitted he's been reading lips for two decades because of his hearing loss. As Grohl explained, "I'm a rock musician. I'm f***ing deaf, I can't hear what you're saying" (via the New York Daily News). He also revealed that the pandemic has been difficult because he is unable to read lips through masks.

Per CNN, Grohl stated that his left ear is in worse shape than his right because his snare drum and stage monitor are placed on that side while he plays. When asked by Stern why he didn't use an earpiece for protection, Grohl said he was not a fan. As he put it, "It just messes with your spatial understanding of where you are on stage" (per HuffPost). Despite his hearing loss, Grohl went on to say that "My ears are still tuned in to certain frequencies" and that he "can hear the slightest little things." Another advantage? Grohl can comfortably nap, even when his kids are being loud.