Our patients know us as "Mandi and Larry," and we love that!
Genetic Hearing Loss and My First Hearing Aid
My first hearing aid was a big, behind-the-ear model for just my left ear that I got in third grade after failing the hearing screening in 1973. My hearing loss seemed to be genetic, as my mother had already experienced a degree of it herself. I wore it for a while until my teacher started drawing attention and embarrassing me in front of the class. He’d say, “Take your
hearing aid off for recess, Mandi,” and it felt like everyone was staring at me. I took it off and never wore it again in school.
I didn’t approach my hearing disability until 1985 when I was a sophomore at West Chester University in Pennsylvania pursuing a liberal arts degree. My hearing loss had become an
obstacle to my studies and social life by then. I wanted to take control of the problem, so I got tested by an audiologist for the second time in my life the summer before my junior year. The audiologist was surprised I had made it so far without addressing my hearing loss. I received an in-the-ear model only for my left ear in the summer of 1984. This time, I never took it off.
Four years later, in 1988, we qualified for a program within the vocational rehab division of NJ to receive in-the-ear aids for working people between the ages of 18 and 65. The aids were equipped with a telephone coil (also known as a T-coil) that allowed you to hear better on the phone by blocking out background noise. Knowing I could benefit from a second hearing aid, I called my mother to discuss it.
Together, we received our new hearing aids. This was my mother’s first pair at age 48 and the first time I had one for each ear. Having two hearing aids allowed for better discrimination of background noise and increased directionality of where the sound was coming from. It changed both our lives, and I remember I could finally hear birds, trucks, and, most importantly, people. Interest in Audiology Services.
A few years after college, I met someone in downtown Philadelphia who noticed I wore hearing aids. He confided in me that his son was showing signs of hearing loss and was unsure what to do. I raved about how my hearing aids had changed my life and that the sooner he could get them for his son, the bigger positive difference it could make.
Later that year, he showed up when I worked at The Office Center of Sears without knowing I worked there. He recognized me and introduced me to his wife. They both thanked me profusely because hearing aids had made a world of difference for their son, just as they had for me. After they left, I turned to my coworker and, out loud, declared: “I am in the wrong business.” It was then that my career in audiology started.
I began researching the hearing aid instrument specialist profession after marrying my husband, Larry, and moving to Colorado. This is when I enrolled at Metropolitan State University of Denver. And signed up for undergraduate Audiology courses. I enjoyed classes so much, especially with help from my first audiology professor, Dr. Jean Lundy, that I decided to look into Audiology Master’s degree.
Meet Dr. Mandi Solat
I enrolled in a program at the University Of Northern Colorado (UNC), earning a Master’s Degree in Audiology (MA) in 1998. My UNC professors were very helpful and embraced my hearing loss; they never focused on it unless I asked for help. At that point, my loss was in the moderate-to-severe range. I worked hard, perhaps more complex than the hearing students, to graduate Summa Cum Laude in 1998.
After earning my Master’s degree, I went to work as a licensed Audiologist in the hearing aid field. That experience was excellent preparation for opening the Audiology Services and Hearing Center of Lakewood, Colorado, in 2002.
An opportunity to work as an audiologist appeared just as I considered opening a practice. At first, I started part-time work with Dr. Kreutzer, an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist. After my husband joined me and my kids became more self-sufficient, the business naturally became full-time.
2015 I enrolled in the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, earning an Au.D. degree, also known as a Doctor of Audiology. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. I received the school’s student leadership award, commending me for my dedication to the profession my patients, and my perseverance to overcome the obstacles in my way.
Perseverance and Dedication to my Profession, Patients, and Community
Throughout my education, my 20 years with Audiology Services, and the constant business of being a mother to three children, one thing remains constant: living with hearing loss is an everyday struggle. But I know one thing for sure: if I can live with it, I know my patients can, too.
My hearing loss is more profound than most patients who walk in my door. However, my knowledge of audiology combined with the act of dispensing hearing aids helps me focus on helping others. Now, my patients and I share a bond in knowing how difficult it is to live with hearing loss.
I am grateful for the army of support that helped me achieve my goals and serve the needs of people with hearing loss. I hope that I can be a pillar of support for you.
Meet Larry Solat!
Larry Solat, B.S.
Hearing Aid Apprentice, Co-Owner
“Knowing the struggles of hearing loss on a personal level motivates me daily to provide
people with hearing services.”
First Experiences with Hearing Loss
My experiences with hearing loss began after meeting Mandi in college. Her hearing loss was
never an issue for me, and although the loss increased over time, it did nothing but sharpen my
tactics for communicating with her.
After earning my Bachelor’s degree from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and
moving to Colorado, I started a career in an IT company. Mandi started her degree at UNC
and would take the kids with her by day, and I would take care of them while she studied at night.
Becoming a Co-owner of the Audiology Service and Hearing Aid Center
At the beginning of my wife’s practice, I would help out here and there with calling patients and vendors. It wasn’t until 2006,
after quitting my job in IT, that I started helping her in her practice. Although I thought I wanted another IT job, hearing aid
technology started piquing my interest. The more I worked with patients, the more I enjoyed Audiology. I decided that I could
switch career paths, do something I loved, and spend more time with my family.
Suddenly, I worked with Mandi full-time at her practice and eventually became a co-owner, a certified Audiology Apprentice,
a hearing aid instrument specialist, an insurance specialist, and the manager of Audiology Services.
Common Hearing Loss from Rock Concerts
In 2018, my attendance at hundreds of rock concerts caught up to me. Mandi tested my hearing, and the loss was big enough
that I was eligible for hearing aids. I fitted myself with my first pair, which changed my world
– I could finally hear my daughter again!
Personal Experience with Hearing Loss Drives Good Service
I have first-hand experience living with a loved one with a profound hearing loss. If you are living with a family member,
relative, friend, or partner with a hearing loss, I can relate and help you understand how to support your loved one.
My highest priority is providing good service to my Lakewood community. Let us support you in your healthy hearing journey!
HEAR FROM OUR CLIENTS!
Dr. Mandi Solat has been my audiologist for nearly 10 years: Expert service, warm welcome and check-in to make sure of your health, advice from her many years of experience, and all the newest and best equipment and supplies for your needs. I highly recommend regular visits. Mandi and Larry are like family to us. Your confidence with new hearing aids will never be higher!
I was so happy to find a woman-owned audiology business! Dr. Mandi Solat really takes the time to care for your needs AND dig out that disgusting ear wax! An office that cares for the patient and less the push for product is a welcome change. You'll love sitting down with Larry too (Mandi's husband...so this is a woman-owned AND family-owned...bonus!). He took such good care of me. Dr. Solat also helps me with my vertigo...it's vertiGONE! Thanks, Audiology Services and Hearing Aid Center, for "hearing" me out! Until next time!
Our family has been with this office for 15-20 years. We have received excellent care and service on multiple hearing aid purchases. Because Mandi, herself, has a hearing loss she is able to understand our situations and provide the best hearing aid for our circumstances. We highly recommend this practice.
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