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Tinnitus and Hearing Loss - Working Through It with a Bionic ear!

Posted Mar 09 2011 7:12pm

So, at this point tinnitus hasn't stopped and like a lot of the pain I feel, I just work to try to get a handle on it. This is pain of a different type and I am told, could be a cause of MS although I have hearing loss with it as explained in the prior post.

Today I went to the VA and received my hearing "instrument" (aka: hearing aid). Mine has bionics in it -- so I can honestly say that I have a bionic left ear. That's pretty cool. It's tiny and controlled my a computer microchip and adjusts volume automatically. It's called a Phonak Audeo S Smart IX.

This is definitely not my "grandma's" device. My only fear is losing it. I am blessed But after about 9 hours wearing it, I notice a difference in my hearing (I hear a lot more and the world is not muffled through that one side). It's like having a BOSE system in my ear. The one issue -- it does not kill the ringing ... but it does not make the ringing worse and it does make my hearing better. So I will take that benefit and work with ENT to see if there is an organic disease related cause to my tinnitus and hearing loss or if it is just a result of injury from noise exposure (like the M-16 next to my ear in S.W.A.T training). I guess that's part of what being a Soldier involved. I am blessed to have the VA to provide me with the benefits I need. This bionic ear was insanely costly.

My Mom and I were talking and it brought up an issue. She is 79 and has hearing loss (age-related most likely) and her Medicare or any insurance does not cover hearing aids. How can that be? How are older folks or those who are disabled and have hearing loss supposed to afford these expensive devices? I'll have to research that a little bit.

Anyway, I head to the ENT on March 22nd for an audiology tune-up too. I feel very fortunate to have the level of health care that I do. I was supposed to go to Aspen, CO to participate in the Disabled Veteran Winter Games but really have too much head noise, distraction and pain to be comfortable with it. Here's looking to having all of this taken care of by Aspen 2012.

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