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Louis Walsh is going deaf after years in the music business

MusicBy Sunday World
Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh is going deaf after years of listening to boy bands and their screaming fans.

The former X Factor judge who managed Boyzone and Westlife has had the damage confirmed and may one day need a hearing aid.

He told the Mail on Sunday that he first noticed when he struggled to hear acts during live auditions for the talent show alongside Mel B, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Simon Cowell.

"I was trying to look at them because when I could see their faces I was able to lip-read. I could always hear Mel though! She's loud," he said.

The music mogul, 63, said he booked a hearing test after his fellow judges started mocking him for asking what they were saying.

His audiologist, Nick Taylor of Specsavers Hearing Centres, confirmed that a lifetime of noisy concerts in the music world had taken effect.

He said: "Together with the natural wear and tear that occurs in our ears as we age, his hearing has been damaged as a result.'

The expert said that prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels could cause problems and he estimated that X Factor sound levels peaked at 120 decibels.

But Walsh believes he might not be the only X Factor judge with a hearing problem.

He added: 'I know Simon will really take the mickey out of me for this but I'm sure my ears are as good as his. He's getting old too."