Now we're talking MY world. I've always been near-sighted and never had any problem with reading even tiny print - until now when the cataracts are developing. I'm in line for laser surgery on both eyes to have new lenses installed (my wife is having that done as we speak and is delighted with results so far, 20-20 in the first eye, about a 30-minute operation).

Before I retired in January 2007, my hearing was getting so bad, even with hearing aids, that the company paid for a special telephone (tone control + amplifier) that included a "neck loop" plugged into the phone so that when the hearing aids were set to the telecoil mode they could pick up the phone signal by induction. My "word discrimination" was down to 20% in each ear without the hearing aids at that point. This was not due to loud noise damage, just age. The loss of hearing increased almost by the day and got to where I couldn't make out what my wife was saying across the dinner table, a quiet environment. A new set of hearing aids helped for a while, but then my audiologist said she could no longer help me with hearing aids, so she recommended certain people by name at the University of Washington Medical Center who were researching a hybrid cochlear implant under monitoring by the FDA. It's called hybrid due to the implant working in conjunction with an in-the-ear canal standard type of hearing aid. I had it done for my left ear and kept the hearing aid in my right ear. This combination has boosted my hearing from the 20% level to about 90%. The best part is that Medicare paid for nearly the total cost - in the six figures, and my Medicare Supplement plan picked up 80% of what was left, so it only cost me about $600 including the year's worth of testing after the implant. Glad I had it done, because there's no telling what might happen with Medicare coverage in the future.