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Limbaugh tells listeners he can hear again

January 21, 2002

NEW YORK (CNN) --With the aid of a cochlear implant in his left ear, radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh announced Monday that he is able to hear his show again for the first time since he learned last year he was suffering from near total deafness.

"For the first time in four months via a medical marvel, ... I'm hearing this," Limbaugh announced. "One of the most frustrating aspects of this show is my inability to hear it."

The radio personality used his syndicated talk show Monday to detail the process of receiving the implant last month. Despite his hearing loss, Limbaugh has continued his daily broadcast to nearly 20 million listeners, responding to callers with the aid of a TelePrompTer and his staff's assistance.

"It's way too soon to say that I have recovered 'X' amount of my hearing because there's so many facets," he said. "It's going to be months before all of those answers are in."

Limbaugh first learned he had a hearing problem May 29, and he told his listeners in October that he was almost entirely deaf as a result of an autoimmune inner-ear disease. He said he had lost 100 percent hearing in his left ear and 80 percent in his right ear.

Acting on the advice of his doctor, Limbaugh said he chose to have the implant in one ear only because doctors "destroy" the inner ear to implant the device.

"This is irreversible; had this not worked, it was tough toenails," he quipped.

Last year, Limbaugh signed a nine-year contract with Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates his show to nearly 600 stations, for a total salary package reported to exceed $200 million.

© 2002, Cable News Network

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