Ms Róża, born in 1937, has been suffering from hearing loss for many years. She wore hearing aids for a long time. Over time they stopped helping her. At the age of 70, she decided to receive her fist cochlea implant, four years later – the second one. She worked very hard to be able to enjoy the world of sounds. Her case shows that the modern technologies used in medicine are effective for patients at every age.
Single words missed in a hasty day-to-day communication, mispronounced patients’ names, ignoring a nurse calling from the other end of the hospital’s corridor. The first symptoms of hearing loss appeared in Ms Róża 40 years ago. For her – a general practitioner – they were a serious issue. As a doctor, before proceeding to treatment, she had to auscultate the patient, interview him/her. – I wondered what to do to prevent a dead silence from falling in my surgery during an interview with the patient – jokes Ms Róża – recalling the beginning of her hearing problems. She didn’t hesitate to use hearing aids. Actually, it was one hearing aid, because it was assumed in Poland at the time that using one in one ear was enough. She had a different opinion. Her family, who lived abroad, sent her another device. First, she wore analogue aids, quite primitive for today’s standards, which didn’t help her much. But there was no alternative. Ms Róża’s condition gradually deteriorated and she needed stronger devices. Unfortunately, stronger doesn’t mean more effective.