The effects of a brain virus have turned music legend Barbra Streisand's life into a living hell, according to a shock US report today.
The 74-year-old Broadway diva has battled with the affliction tinnitus – which causes a ringing in the ears, which only the sufferer can hear – since she was seven years old and caught a virus, but the incurable condition has reportedly got progressively worse as she ages.
She has said: 'I was just a child when I started to hear these noises, and I would put scarves on my head to try and block them out. I was afraid to find out what it was.
'I’ve tried all sorts of things - white noise machines, masking devices, you name it. Nothing helps. I long to hear silence.'
The singer and actress made her last tour just 10 dates, as the pressures of being around loud crowds and stages reportedly makes the condition worse. The magazine claims the symptoms are effectively 'silencing' the star.
She is said to suffer sleepless nights and even reported to have collapsed because of the tinnitus.
A source close to the tour told National Enquirer magazine: 'When she’s doing a concert and the audience applauds, the background noise helps to drown out the wailing. But if she pauses in a song or something the pain just gets worse.'
Another source claims the singer is 'deeply distressed' by the affect the tinnitus has on her and is worried it could lead to something as bad as a brain tumour.