Chris Packham, best known for his narration on BBC show Springwatch, revealed in 2018 the possibility that he could go deaf. The presenter lost his hearing in his right ear after a diving accident, and this later developed into a condition known as Meniere’s disease.
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The condition affects the inner ear and causes tinnitus and vertigo. Tinnitus is the name for hearing noises that are not caused by any outside source, and vertigo is feeling like you or everything around you is spinning.
Chris explained to Mirror.co.uk: “There is a danger that the Meniere’s which I suffered from in this ear could spread to the other one and I could lose my hearing in that ear as well.
“It’s something that gives me constant worry.”
But Chris revealed his colleagues on Springwatch and Autumn-watch know of his hearing problems and always take them into account.
What are the symptoms of Meniere’s disease?
The NHS describes Meniere’s disease as a condition of the inner ear that causes sudden attacks of:
- Feeling like the room is spinning around you (vertigo)
- A ringing noise inside the ear (tinnitus)
- Pressure felt deep inside the ear
- Hearing loss
During an attack, the symptoms you may experience include:
- Feeling dizziness with a spinning sensation (vertigo)
- Feeling unsteady on your feet
- Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomit)
- Hearing ringing, roaring or buzzing inside your ear
- Having a sudden drop in hearing
The NHS continues: “These symptoms typically happen all at once and can last minutes or hours, but most commonly last two to three hours.
“The condition usually starts in one ear, but can spread to both ears over time.
“It can take a day or two for the symptoms to disappear completely. You may feel tired after an attack.
“These symptoms typically happen all at once and can last minutes or hours, but most commonly last two to three hours.”
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The condition usually starts in one ear, but can spread to both ears over time.
The health body adds: “It can take a day or two for the symptoms to disappear completely. You may feel tired after an attack.
“Attacks can happen in clusters, or several times a week, or they may be separated by weeks, months or years.”
The condition most commonly affects people aged 20 to 60 and is uncommon in children.
But if you think you have Meniere’s disease you should contact your GP as it can lead to permanent hearing loss if left untreated.
Meniere’s diseases isn’t the only condition Chris has had to contend with.
In 2005, the presenter was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, also known as Asperger’s.
Asperge’s is a developmental disorder which is characterised by difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, as well as restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests.
In 2017 a documentary was released called Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me, which detailed how the naturalist deals with the condition.
In an interview with Radio Times to coincide with the release, he said: “I’m anything but normal. I experience the world in hyper-reality. Sensory overload is a constant distraction.
“I’ve just been for a walk in the woods, and it was very different for me than it would be for you – the sights the smells, the sounds.”
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