Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Miraculous’ Hearing Surgery
Rush Limbaugh calls it “miraculous.” And hearing experts say the cutting-edge cochlear implant the radio superstar received in his right ear recently will likely boost his on-air capabilities.
“The prognosis for Mr. Limbaugh is quite good,” Dr. René H. Gifford, a professor and director of the Cochlear Implant Program at Vanderbilt University, tells Newsmax Health. “He will instantly benefit from having [two hearing devices] … Cochlear implants are hands-down the best intervention we have available.”
Limbaugh previously had the surgery on his left ear, but had been deaf in his right ear. Without the implants, the talk show host says he would be “100 percent deaf.”
Dr. Carolyn Smaka, an audiologist and editor-in-chief of AudiologyOnline, agrees that there are no drawbacks to receiving a second cochlear implant.
“Having a second will give him [an advantage],” she says. “We have two ears, of course, so if you’re only relying on one ear it’s very difficult for the brain to sort out what to listen to and what sounds you should suppress. ”
Dr. Smaka adds that someone working in radio might have a hard time relying on a single ear — listening to callers over the phone, having studio conversations with one or two other people in the room, and possibly getting information via an earpiece from his producers.
That’s where having a second implant could help him focus on what voices to pay attention to and which sounds to tune out — something hearing specialists refer to as the “cocktail party effect,” she explains .
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