Dr. Jane Kukula says one of the newest hearing aids to hit the market is the Phonak Paradise

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Advanced Audiology Concepts stays on top of new product introductions within the industry. Dr. Jane Kukula says one of the newest and coolest aids to hit the market is the Phonak Paradise.

By Patricia Nugent

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month.

For your overall wellness, it’s a good idea to keep prevention and protection in mind when it comes to this often neglected and underrated sense. The good news is, you have more power than you think you do.

We caught up with Dr. Jane Kukula, founder of Advanced Audiology Concepts The Hearing Center in Mentor, for some insight.

“Hearing loss usually takes place very gradually and oftentimes people don’t realize how far it’s progressed,” she says. “They keep turning up the volume on their television and asking those around them to speak up. Or, worse, they don’t ask the people around them to speak up and miss out on conversations, which can lead to withdrawal and social isolation.”

“Turn it Down!”
People of all ages can experience noise-induced hearing loss. A 2017 study found that 18 percent of teens exhibit signs of loss.

“Nowadays, more and more people are using earphones and earbuds,” she says. “With the noise directly in your ear, often for extended periods of time, it’s important to keep it at a lower level. I tell my patients, if people standing near you can hear what you’re playing, it’s too loud.”

Dr. Kukula also mentions if you are going to experience very loud noises, whether on a job site, at a sporting event, or doing everyday things like mowing the lawn, be sure to wear protective ear plugs.

Meet the New Audiologist and Staff
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Rachael Olinger to our staff,” says Dr. Kukula. “Despite Covid, as soon as we reopened in July, we were extremely busy and are grateful she joined us. With her undergrad degree from The Ohio State University and doctorate from the Northeast Ohio AuD Consortium, she is whip smart and the staff and patients love her positive energy.”

Dr. Olinger’s areas of interest include adult diagnostics, tinnitus management and the fitting and management of hearing aids.

“I especially love working with the senior population,” says Dr. Olinger. “I enjoy getting involved in their lives from the perspective that improving their hearing also improves their self-worth and independence. I like getting to know their families and caretakers, too.”

Since both audiologists spent time in post-doc training at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus, they share a lot of similar experiences and know many of the same people.

There are some changes at the office, too. Several of the former staff members retired and AAC hired Dona, a billing specialist, and front desk staff Patti and Debbie.

“They are all really such troopers,” says Dr. Kukula. “They’ve been so diligent and have beautifully managed all the activity with our curbside service. They go the extra mile running from curbside to bring in patients’ devices so we can work on them, then bring them back out.”

Amazing Features on New Hearing Aid
Advanced Audiology Concepts stays on top of new product introductions within the industry. One of the newest and coolest aids to hit the market is the Phonak Paradise.

“This rechargeable device is one of the most exciting products we’ve introduced in a long time,” says Dr. Jane. “It has a variety of personalized features that set it apart from others.”

Its Speech Enhancer boosts soft-level speech, so someone who might be around a spouse or others who are soft talkers can enjoy enhanced communication.

“Also, for people with dexterity issues who might have difficulty picking up phones, all they have to do is tap an ear to answer,” she says. “All of these features are easily controlled through the app.”

Advanced Audiology Concepts is located at 8897 Mentor Avenue in Mentor. Call the office to set up an audiogram to see how healthy your hearing is, 440-205-8848, or visit AAChear.org for more information.