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8380 Old York Road, Suite 1200 Elkins Park, PA 19027 215.780.3180

IN THIS EDITION Fall Is A Time For Listening Cleaning Hearing Aids Tips For Communication Student Spotlight Faculty Focus Upcoming Events at PEI


The Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) welcomes our new students - the Osborne College of Audiology Class of 2022 started their clinical observations in August. They are an excellent group of future audiologists, and our top-notch team of audiologists look forward to working with them to provide the best patient care possible.

Dr. Rebecca Blaha was recently promoted to the position of Lead Audiologist at PEI. Our patients are familiar with Dr. Blaha’s excellent patient care for adults with hearing loss and tinnitus, and we’re excited to see her expand her role.

PEI recently added new equipment to our pediatric audiology test suite. We have added a new Auditory Brainstem Response system, which allows us to provide unsedated diagnostic testing for newborns, infants, and toddlers who cannot participate in behavioral testing.

In an effort to make hearing aid drop-offs and pickups more convenient for all of our patients, PEI will now operate a Hearing Aid Repair Clinic (HARC) on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Current patients are welcome to drop off their malfunctioning devices at any time during the week, without the need for an appointment, and they will receive a call within a week regarding the repair status. Note, HARC is for repairs and troubleshooting only; any reprogramming would require an appointment.

Upcoming Events at PEI Hear for the Holidays Schedule a hearing evaluation or hearing aid consultation before Thanksgiving and we’ll have you hearing better for the holiday season. Receive 10% off* (up to $620) your hearing device purchase(s). *Offer valid Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, 2018.


NEWSLETTER 8380 Old York Road, Suite 1200 Elkins Park, PA 19027 215.780.3180


FALL IS A TIME FOR LISTENING From the rustle of leaves on the ground to conversations with family and friends around the holiday table - fall is a time to enjoy the sounds of life and to make memories with those we love. Unfortunately hearing loss can put a damper on fall’s fun activities. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), more than 37 million American adults report having hearing difficulty and hearing loss affects one in three adults over the age of 65. Common signs of hearing loss include: • Trouble understanding phone conversations • Difficulty hearing in crowded settings

• First, our seasonal “Hear for the Holidays” campaign is back! Starting November 1, we will be offering a 10 percent discount on all hearing aids. This will be a great time to utilize any remaining Health Savings Account funds toward starting a treatment plan that will make this holiday season one to remember. • Secondly, we want to thank all of our wonderful patients for spreading the word about the great hearing healthcare they’ve received at PEI. The next time you refer a friend or family member to us, we’d like to buy you a cup of coffee and a treat! Just give your friend one of our referral cards with your name written on the back, and when they come in for their appointment, both of you will receive a complimentary gift card!

• Trouble following a conversation when more than one person is speaking • Frequently thinking people are mumbling • Asking people to repeat themselves • Frequent complaints from others that the TV is too loud The good news? Addressing hearing loss through a treatment plan that can include hearing aids has been shown to reduce depression, increase participation in social activities and improve engagement with friends and family. For that reason, we’re excited to announce some initiatives this fall that focus on giving the gift of hearing to as many people as possible.

8380 Old York Road, Suite 1200, Elkins Park, PA 19027 | 215.780.3180 |


Hearing aids are an important investment, not only for your hearing health, but also for your social and emotional well-being. Taking good care of your hearing aids helps ensure that they function properly and prolongs their lifespan.

One of the most common reasons hearing aids require repair is due to a buildup of wax or moisture that can block the microphone, receiver (speaker) or internal components of the device. Keeping your hearing aids clean can improve sound quality and comfort. To maintain the cleanliness of your devices, check the wax traps to make sure they are clear and free of debris. You should also wipe your hearing aids with a soft cloth about once a week. Make sure to always keep your hearing aids dry and free from moisture. Hearing aids should not be kept in the bathroom because of the humidity. Instead, you should store your devices in a clean, dry place with the battery door open, and remember to take them off before swimming or showering. Hearing aids are also fragile, so take care not to drop or crush them. Lastly, you should make an appointment with PEI twice a year to have your audiologist check how well your devices are functioning. If you take proper care of your hearing aids, they can last for five years or more! However, if you feel that your devices are not working as well as they used to, call us today for a hearing aid adjustment, and we can find the right solution that meets your communication needs.

TIPS FOR COMMUNICATION Holidays are a time to connect with friends and family. However, these connections can be hard with communication barriers such as hearing loss. Hearing aids are one way to reduce those barriers, but they are not a cure-all. Here are some additional tips that will help your communication with loved ones: •

As best as possible, try to reduce the background noise. It will help everyone listen more clearly.

Focus on your conversation partner by talking to them face-to-face. If at a restaurant, ask for a booth by a wall to reduce the commotion of your surroundings.

Consider some assistive technologies to help you focus on your conversation partner. These devices can help even when there is background noise.

Remember, communication is a two-way street. Here are some simple strategies for your communication partner:

Make sure that they are speaking slowly and clearly. Increasing their volume will just increase your confusion about what they are saying. Plus, no one likes to be yelled at.

Help your communication partner to understand that context clues may be needed to help the conversation – especially in a noisy room.

Communication barriers should not stand in the way of your connections with friends and family. With these helpful tips, you can fully enjoy the company of your loved ones!

Call 215.780.3180 to schedule an appointment or visit


Student’s Hearing Loss Journey Leads to Audiology Career With an infectious personality, fierce determination and a zest for life, Dayle Paustian is not one to let an obstacle stand in her way. She is using her personal experience with hearing loss to fuel her passion to become an audiologist.

Paustian is an audiology student assigned to her clinical rotation at the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI), but her hearing loss journey began at birth. “I was born deaf but wasn’t diagnosed until I was three. At the time, newborn hearing screenings weren’t mandated, whereas now that would be the first indication for parents that something could be wrong,” said Paustian. At the age of three, Paustian was diagnosed with profound hearing loss in both ears and fitted with her first pair of hearing aids. By the time she was 14, she had cochlear implants in both ears. Her personal experience with hearing loss eventually led to her future career pursuit. Once a patient herself, Paustian – a second year student in Salus University Osborne College of Audiology – is now working to become a doctor. “I was exposed to the field of audiology from my personal experience, but now I’m gaining clinical skills and a scientific understanding of how it all works together,” she said. During clinical rotation at PEI, she has the opportunity to work with patients of all ages and with varying degrees of hearing loss. While she hasn’t officially decided on a specialty, Paustian feels most connected with the pediatric population. “As healthcare professionals, we strive to be empathetic, and personally I know firsthand what it’s like. When I have the chance, I visit my speech school back home to talk to the children and their parents,” said Paustian. “They look at me and have hope. They can see that being deaf does not have to limit them from accomplishing their goals.”

FACULTY FOCUS: DR. ELIZABETH SEDUNOV Dr. Elizabeth Sedunov is a board certified audiologist at PEI. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Hearing Science and her Doctor of Audiology degree from The Ohio State University. Her clinical interests include diagnostic hearing evaluations, hearing insurant amplification and verification and aural rehabilitation. Her personal connection to loved ones with hearing loss ultimately generated her interest in the audiology profession “I became more aware of my family and friends who had untreated hearing loss – my father specifically,” said Dr. Sedunov. “Once I started graduate school, he was fit with hearing aids, and now he’s doing really well.” Dr. Sedunov said the opportunity to see advancements in hearing technology over the years is one aspect of her job that she finds most interesting. “I enjoy being able to introduce my patients to new technology,” she said. “When I started graduate school, the technology they had then wasn’t nearly as amazing as the technology now – especially in terms of the features that are available.” When Dr. Sedunov is not seeing patients or teaching students, she enjoys having brunch with friends, spending time outdoors in beautiful weather and completing DIY projects. “My father is very good at DIY projects – I’m more of his assistant. Together, we’ve fixed several rooms, renovated a bathroom and built a patio,” she said. Dr. Sedunov also enjoys spending time with her family and her dog.

8380 Old York Road, Suite 1200, Elkins Park, PA 19027 | 215.780.3180 |

Profile for Salus University

PEI Fall 2018 Newsletter  

PEI Fall 2018 Newsletter