New York — In a National Public Radio (NPR) interview broadcast on Saturday, February 18, 2012, actor William Shatner discussed his challenges with tinnitus and urged listeners to seek treatment.

Shatner, best known for playing Captain James Kirk on television’s Star Trek series, was on NPR’s Morning Edition program to promote his new one man show "Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It." About halfway through the program, interviewer Scott Simon asked Shatner about his struggle with tinnitus.

Shatner said he was diagnosed with tinnitus about 15 years earlier and described his particular tinnitus tone as sounding like an empty television channel that broadcasts a constant “hiss-static.”

Shatner goes on to describe an audiometer test that identified his tinnitus tone. He said, “And when [the audiometer] reached the same timber and tone of my sound, I broke into tears. Somebody had hacked their way through this jungle of sound where I was totally alone in my agony, and somebody had reached me and it just moved me to tears.”

Shatner also mentioned to the national audience how many returning veterans suffer from tinnitus. Apparently being treated with masking devices, Shatner ended the conversation saying, “If one person is listening to this can be helped by [me] saying, don’t despair. I promise you, eventually you won’t hear it; it won’t go away, but you won’t hear it.”

You can hear the entire interview and read the transcript on the NPR website.

SOURCE: National Public Radio