She couldn''t crank up the volume any higher.
After 15 years of progressive hearing loss, Patty Taake, 49, found she was struggling to hear the phone ring or follow conversations, despite the two hearing aids she wore.
"I was 32 when my hearing loss began, but as time went on I knew something was going seriously wrong," says Taake.
Diagnosed with profound hearing loss, she was referred to J. Gail Neely, MD, Washington University otolaryngologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "Everyone told me Barnes-Jewish was a research hospital, and Dr. Neely was one of the best."
Dr. Neely found Taake''s hearing had deteriorated beyond the help of traditional hearing aids or medical options. But he felt she was a perfect candidate for a cochlear implant. As it turned out, the benefits of a cochlear implant were immediate and dramatic.
"On the ride home after the procedure I was amazed," she said. "For the first time in years I could pick up words and phrases on the radio and within a couple of weeks I could hear the morning news."
The intensive, 30-session hearing training program offered to cochlear implant patients post-operatively ensures that patients get the maximum benefit from their surgical procedure, says Dr. Neely.
"Barnes-Jewish Hospital is one of very few centers that provide this service to patients," he says.
Meanwhile, Taake was thrilled to have her hearing back.
"My whole family was so happy for me," says Taake. "It was such a success because suddenly, I could understand conversations again. It exceeded all expectations."