Health & Wellness

Boomer Edition | 10th Annual | 2014

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Page 43 of 147

(From left) Daniel M. Zeitler, M.D., Robert S. Feehs, M.D., and Robert P. Muckle, M.D. of Denver Ear Associates When hearing aids aren't enough: CoChlear implants offer Clarity No one really knows exactly how, when or why Marcia Robertson experienced hearing loss. Her physician doesn't think it was congenital because her speech is normal, she says. But Robertson, 52, has been hearing impaired most of her life, and only within the past few years has experienced the world differently than ever before. After wearing traditional hearing aids for a few years, but abandoning them because their noise amplification was so irritating, Robertson resumed wearing hearing aids—but the digital kind, which were an improvement. Still, after she had children (triplets), her hearing declined further, such that she didn't feel comfortable going anywhere alone—even with the hearing aids. Robertson finally went to an ENT who suggested she consider cochlear implants and referred her to Dr. Robert Feehs, a neurotologist at Denver Ear Associates. Since the late 1970s, Denver Ear Associates has been the Rocky Mountain region's largest and longest established practice solely dedicated to hearing disorders, Feehs says. 42 The practice sees patients not only in Colorado but also from Montana and Wyoming. Denver Ear Associates, comprising three board-certified neurotologists and six audiologists, provides services for all kinds of hearing related disorders, including pediatric and adult hearing loss; balance and dizziness, tinnitus, facial paralysis, acoustic neuromas and Meniere's disease. Located near Swedish Hospital, Denver Ear Associates established the Colorado Cochlear Implant Institute within its offices. [See sidebar] "Originally cochlear implants were used to treat profound hearing loss in clinical trials where people had no hearing at all," Feehs says. "But over the years, the qualifying criteria has expanded from zero clarity to where you can have 60 percent

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