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Famous People with Menieres Disease

List of famous people who had and have Meniere's disease.

What is Meniere's Disease?

Meniere's disease is an abnormality of the inner ear causing a host of symptoms, including vertigo or severe dizziness, tinnitus or a roaring sound in the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, and the sensation of pressure or pain in the affected ear.<

The disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss. Named after French physician Prosper Meniere who first described the syndrome in 1861.

The symptoms of Meniere's are variable; not all sufferers experience the same symptoms. So called "classic Meniere's" is considered to comprise the following four symptoms:

  • Periodic episodes of rotary vertigo (the abnormal sensation of movement) or dizziness.
  • Fluctuating, progressive, unilateral (in one ear) or bilateral (in both ears) hearing loss, often initially in the lower frequency ranges.
  • Unilateral or bilateral tinnitus (the perception of noises, often ringing, roaring, or whooshing), sometimes variable.
  • A sensation of fullness or pressure in one or both ears.

There is no cure for Meniere's disease. However, the symptoms of the disease are often controlled successfully by reducing the body's retention of fluids through dietary changes (such as a low-salt or salt-free diet and no caffeine or alcohol) or medication.

Scientists are investigating environmental and biological factors that may cause Meniere's disease or induce an attack.

Famous People with Meniere's Disease
Vincent Van Gogh- (30 March 1853 - 29 July 1890) Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch artist responsible for some of the world's most expensive and popular paintings and drawings. He produced more than 2000 works including 1100 drawings and sketches along with 900 paintings. Vincent suffered from both deep depression and Meniere's Disease, he eventually ended his own life at the age of 37 by shooting himself in the chest with a revolver. He then returned to the Ravoux Inn where he stayed, and died 2 days later.
 Alan Shepard - (November 18, 1923 - July 21, 1998) was the first American in space and the fifth person to walk on the moon, commanding the Apollo 14 mission. In the early 1964 Shepard was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. The condition caused him to be removed from flight status for most of the 1960's as the disease cause disorientation, dizziness and nausea. In 1963 Shepard was designated Chief of the Astronaut office which involved monitoring the coordination, schedule, and control of all activities involving the NASA astronauts. Shepard was eventually restored to full flight status by 1969 after going through corrective surgery. At the age of 47 years old, he was the oldest astronaut in the program when he took part in his second space flight as commander of the Apollo 14.
 David Alstead - David is a skilled pianist, and is continuing his career despite the fact that he suffers from Meniere's Disease after losing all hearing capabilities in his left ear, due to a surgery he had at the age of 19. Despite the horrible event Dave has been honored as Keyboard 's magazine "Unsigned Artist of the Month", his writing has also been recognized internationally as a winner of the Eric Stokes Song Contest. He has many years of classical piano practice under his belt and is slowly being known to the public through local musical theater performances.
 Emily Dickinson - (December 10, 1830 - May 15, 1886) Emily Dickinson was born in a successful family with strong community ties. Dickinson chose to publish fewer than a dozen out of her nearly eighteen hundred poems. After her death in 1866, her younger sister Lavinia discovered her cache of poems and published her first collection of poems in 1890 with the help of both Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd. Critics now consider Emily Dickinson to be a major American poet.
 Peggy Lee - (May 26, 1920 - January 21, 2002) Peggy Lee was one of the most important musical influences of the 20th century. In 1942 Peggy had her first #1 hit "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" followed by 1943's "Why don't you do it right?" which sold over a million copies, making her famous. When Lee became successful in her music career she proceeded to being an actor, in which she also knew success. She continued to do performances as she got older throughout the 1990's, sometimes even in a wheelchair. After several health complications such as Meniere's Disease and Diabetes Peggy Lee eventually died at the age of 81 from a Heart Attack.
 Steve Francis - (born February 21, 1977) Being a professional Basketball player Steve Francis (also known as Steve-O) is well known for his flashy dunks, crossover dribble and driving ability. After attending College Steve transferred to the University of Maryland where he started his junior season making a big impact, instantly becoming Maryland's starting shooting guard, scoring 17 points in the season opener against Western Carolina. Steve Francis is suffering from Meniere's Disease which has no cure, it sometimes leads to strong migraine headaches.
 Dana Davis - A four time award-winning author of fantasy and science fiction. She's also a geek, a nerd, and a ghost buster with a paranormal investigative team. Dana comes from an entertainment background in stage and television and also worked for a brief time as a Disneyland performer. In March of 2003, after bouts of vertigo, tinnitus and other symptoms that left her exhausted, and generally stressed out, Dana was diagnosed with Meniere's Disease. When she's not writing, she loves to read, swim, hike, travel, peruse graveyards and ruins, and investigate purportedly haunted locations. Web site -
 Mike Reilly - (July 2, 1949) Mike Reilly has worked in the American League from 1977 to 1999 and throughout both major leaues since 2000 as an umpire. He has umpired in the World Series in 1984, 1992, 2002 and 2007, and in the All-Star Game in 1982, 1993 and 2000, calling balls and strikes for the last contest. He has also officiated in eight League Championship Series (1983, 1987, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2006) and six Division Series (1981, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007).
 Katie LeClerc - (born November 6, 1986) - Katie Leclerc's career began in 2005, when she made her first appearance on "Veronica Mars". Then followed a series of minor roles and small appearances in movies and TV shows. Leclerc got her breakout role starring as a deaf teenager, Daphne Vasquez, in ABC Family's "Switched at Birth". LeClerc has Meniere's Disease. Sufferers have hearing loss, usually on one side, that fluctuates, and they frequently experience a roaring sound, similar to the sound we hear when we listen to a seashell. As a teenager, she got her hearing tested as part of a project, and discovered that she actually needed hearing aids.
 Andrew Knight - (November 1, 1939) Knight is an editor, journalist and media baron being the youngest editor ever to work with The Economist (In the international business and investment sections). Later his work turned Telegraph Group's Daily Telegraph into the highest selling broadsheet in the UK. No matter what Andrew Knight would put his hands on, it would instantly turn to pure gold. He suffered of Meniere's Disease throughout his life but it did not keep him from having a successful career.
 David Copithorne - David lost his hearing in adulthood and it changed his life. At first he thought he would never be able to function properly ever again. He thought of just hiding under the covers and staying there until the day his hearing would come back. Of course it never did so David had to find ways to cope with this new disability. He was told by his doctor that the hearing loss was most likely caused by Meniere's Disease. Then a father with a child, this would not only affect him but his entire family. Today David is the author of, which is a website dedicated to people who have hearing problems or other related disabilities. The website also reveals parts and pieces of what David went through after he lost his hearing.
 Les Paul - (born June 9, 1915) Les Paul is an American jazz guitarist and inventor responsible for the solid-body electric guitar which has made the sound of rock and roll possible. In 2003 he was named the 46th best guitarist of all times by Rolling Stone and his inventions were widely used by both amateurs and professionals alike. Paul has suffered a stroke, a broken eardrum, Meniere's disease and acute arthritis that has crippled the fingers on both hands. He can still hold a pick and he has revised his playing techniques to compensate for the loss of agility.
 Lisa McDonald- (born 1974) Lisa McDonald is an Irish Fianna Fail politician from County Wexford. She was appointed to Seanad Eireann as a Taoiseach's Nominee on 3 August 2007. Prior to her appointment she was a county councilor on Wexford County Council from 2004; a position she has to resign from as a senator. She was previously an unsuccessful candidate in the 2007 general election for Wexford. McDonald is married, with a young child, and studied law at University College Dublin before moving back to Wexford, where she worked as a solicitor in her own firm.
 Jonathan Swift - - (November 30, 1667 - October 19, 1745) Swift was an Anglo-Irish cleric, Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for Tories), and poet. In 1682 he attended Dublin University (Trinity College, Dublin), receiving his B.A. in 1686. Swift was studying for his Master's degree when political troubles in Ireland surrounding the Glorious Revolution forced him to leave for England in 1688, where his mother helped him get a position as secretary and personal assistant of Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Farnham. Temple was an English diplomat who, having arranged the Triple Alliance of 1668, retired from public service to his country estate to tend his gardens and write his memoirs.
 Martin Luther - (November 10, 1483-February 18, 1546) was a German monk, theologian, university professor and church reformer whose ideas inspired the Protestant Reformation and changed the course of Western civilization. His translation of the Bible into the vernacular, making it more accessible to ordinary people, had a tremendous political impact on the church and on German culture. It furthered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the translation of the English King James Bible.
 Jessica Williams - Jessica Jennifer Williams (born March 17, 1948) - A well-known and highly respected American pianist and composer who has deep roots in the Jazz Tradition. She was presented the Keys to the City of Sacramento, receiving four grants from the Sacramento Arts Commission, and the Keys to the City of San Mateo. She was chosen Artist of the Year in Santa Cruz County, for her free musical service to the elderly, and for donating support to the Women's Shelter of Watsonville. She has released over 65 albums and written over 300 compositions. She has received two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; a Rockefeller Grant for composing; the Alice B. Toklas Grant for Women Composers, and the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Jessica was diagnosed with Bilateral Meniere's disease in 2007, a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance. If you are affected in only one ear, that is said to be "unilateral" (one-sided). If you are affected in both ears, that is said to be "bilateral" (two-sided).
 Kristen Chenoweth - (born July 24, 1968) is an American singer, musical theatre, film and television actress, and author. She is best known on Broadway for her performance as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999), for which she won a Tony Award, and for originating the role of Glinda in the musical Wicked (2003). Kristin Chenoweth has performed on stage while suffering from severe symptoms of Meniere's disease. She wrote about her experience with Meniere's in her 2009 autobiography and talked about it on "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" in April 2009.
 Dana White - (born July 28, 1969) - An American businessman, entrepreneur, and the President of mixed martial arts organization the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), based in the US. In 1992, White established Dana White Enterprises in Las Vegas. He also conducted aerobics classes at three gyms in the Las Vegas area and began managing MMA fighters Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. In May 2012, White revealed that he had been diagnosed with Meniere's disease.
 Tim Conley - Professional golfer
 Aaron Reiser - artist.
 Brian Evans - university administrator.
 Chris Potter - saxophonist and band leader.
 Dan Carlson - journalist.
 Daniel Pancy - photographer.
 Edeltraut L. Scheffler Plath - poet.
 Elizabeth Anne Steward - community serviceperson and Meniere's Disease advocate.
 Jane Nichols - chancellor, University of Nevada.
 Judy Carrow - disaster volunteer.
 Kuriyama Hideki - newscaster, professional baseball player.
 Kyle Walpole - climber.
 Mandy Stefanczak - fitness competitor. Diagnosed at age 15.
 Meg MacDonald - television journalist.
 Nancy Freudenthal - First Lady of the State of Wyoming.
 Patrick Flores - Archbishop of San Antonio.
 Patty Spitler - broadcast journalist.
 Peggy Goldwater - wife of Senator Barry Goldwater.
 Randy Thurman - multitalented artist.
 Stan Gallimore - drummer.
 Steven Barrie-Anthony - journalist.


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