TV star Vic Reeves has revealed he has a tumour in his head which has left him “100% deaf” in one ear.
The 62-year-old, whose real name is Jim Moir, said the tumour is inoperable and has impacted how he listens to music and birdwatching.
Tumour can’t be removed
Speaking on The Adam Buxton Podcast, he said: “I’ve got what’s called a vestibular schwannoma – it’s a tumour in my head.
“I’ve gone completely deaf, 100% deaf, in the left ear, and it will never come back.
“It’s like the size of a grape so they just have to keep an eye on it.
“It’s benign. They can’t remove it – they can shrink it or they can just leave it and keep an eye on it, and that’s what they’re doing.”
Vestibular schwannomas, also called acoustic neuromas, are benign brain tumours that start in the nerve that connects the brain to the ear, according to Cancer Research UK.
The charity said the tumours are rare and do not spread to other parts of the body and because they grow slowly over some years, symptoms do not appear for some time.
Thrown away records
Asked if this has distressed him, he said: “No, not really, I would rather hear than not but this happened so you just get on with it, don’t you?
“I’ve got used to it, I like going out birdwatching and I never know where the birds are. I can hear them but I don’t know what direction they are in.
“I had to throw away all my stereo LPs.”
Asked if he can hear anything at all in that ear, Reeves, who is best known as part of the comedy duo Vic & Bob with Bob Mortimer, replied: “It’s dead, absolutely, completely gone.
“The eardrum and your brain, there’s a nerve and that takes all the information from your ear to your brain and the tumour is right in between the nerve, so it’s gone ‘ping’ and snapped it and you can’t reattach nerves, not at this stage in medical science, but in the future? Probably the week after I perish.”
Among the symptoms are hearing loss, ringing and buzzing sounds, difficulty working out where sounds are coming from, dizziness or vertigo and numbness of the face, which usually only happens in advanced tumours.
He continued: “I’m living with deafness. Can you imagine a life without stereo records? No more will I hear Jimi Hendrix, well the producer, doing If 6 Was 9, it goes all over the place.”
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