Hearing Aids

Solace in Solitude

Feb 4, 2014
Las Vegas
I had s VA physical, when I retired from the Air Force in Aug, 1988. I had the VA physical because I was required to have it.

I was running 7 six minute miles every day and was quite healthy, with a few strands of hair and voices in my head.

The physical only found fairly severe high frequency hearing loss and severe tinnitus (the voices), having worked so many years constantly bombarded by the deafening sounds of yuge mainframe computers.

The audiologist said, “the high freq loss probably won’t cause you issues, except for the noise distortion hearing, when conversing in noisy places. The tinnitus will not get better, but, there’s not much we can do”.

He then asked if I wanted to apply for a service connected disability. I declined and went out into the civilian world, with a smile on my face, a song in my heart and a feeling I was missing out on the punchline much of the time.

Fast forward 30+ years and Dianna constantly asking me what conversation we’re having... seems she likes to talk about important stuff and I talk about whatever I thought she said.

More importantly, the tinnitus has gotten so bad, I’ve started relating to Van Gogh and, more concerning, to David Berkowitz.

Perhaps my pursuing of Solace in Solitude is more directly attributable to my poor hearing than I realized.

At any rate, I found neither MediCare, nor TriCare care about a retiree’s hearing... or the fact that I could practically buy my way into a mental institution, for the price of a hearing aid!!

And some of us have two ears... and both are bad.

I was gonna visit VA and I thought (again!) that I would first speak to the Audiologist at the Nellis AFB Hospital.

Great decision!!

He did the hearing tests, I paid $700 (a pair) wholesale for $6k in state of the art hearing aids.

I picked them up yesterday and The TINNITUS IS GONE!!!

Well, it’s there, but the aids now use white noise to mask the voices, ringing, buzzing, etc. and if you can’t hear Tinnitus, it’s, for all practical purposes GONE!!

First time in 40+ years that I have so thoroughly enjoyed the sounds of silence!!

Now, to turn off the closed captioning on Dianna... and get Teddy to bark lower. Chester actually barks and I say, “lower” and he barks lower. Teddy barks LOUD, especially with
His mouth near my hearing aid.

The bad news, the first time I took a hearing aid assisted leak, I almost went into cardiac arrest. If you’ve ever been to Niagra Falls, you can just about relate.

So, the moral... if any retired military need hearing help, try your local military ENT clinic or Audiologist. Some active duty are overwhelmed with so many active duty patients.. try another location until you find one that can help.

TriCare explanation

Hearing Aids | TRICARE


DoD sponsored Retiree-At-Cost Hearing Aid Program (RACHAP)


Hearing Aids for Military Retirees
DoD and VA offer programs to help military retirees get hearing aids.

VA info

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