Wednesday, January 23, 2002
Miami Talk show host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners Monday that an ear implant has partially restored his hearing.
Limbaugh had an electronic device placed in his skull late last year, and the final hookup, which partially restored his hearing, took place Thursday.
Limbaugh, who has 20 million weekly listeners on about 600 radio stations, said his mind played tricks on him at times while he was deaf.
"I was hearing the soundtracks to westerns," Limbaugh said. "It was as loud as can be. It was distracting. I knew I wasn't hearing it because those noises weren't being made."
Limbaugh had continued to do his show as his hearing deteriorated and eventually disappeared, using an elaborate setup at his South Florida studio involving transcribers and computer screens to read listeners' calls.
Limbaugh said he is having to relearn how to hear. Voices are a bit fuzzy, he said. But during one-on-one conversations, his hearing is about 90 percent normal.