Kristiina Huckabay AuD FAAA

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Pinky's Passion for Parkinson's Disease research

August 04, 2014

The DBS Program Staff rallied support for Pat Erickson on Saturday July 26th at the annual Pinky’s Passion Walk in Edmonds.  Pat and her husband Steve started a foundation several years ago to raise funds for Parkinson’s research.  They host several lively fundraisers every year, and they really know  how to throw a party.  A great time in the summer sun was had by all.  Pat (Pinky) recently underwent DBS surgery, and she spoke at the event about her Swedish care experience with great fondness and appreciation.  More about  Pinky’s story and her fight for a cure can be found here.

Protect your hearing at Seattle's Seafair

August 01, 2014
Blue Angels! Cheering fans! Hydroplanes! Live music! Fireworks! Along with the excitement Seafair brings to Seattle, it also brings a lot of noise! The otolaryngologists and audiologists at Swedish Otolaryngology want you to enjoy these events, while protecting your precious hearing. The sound of a jet engine can be up to 120 dB at take-off and even 30 seconds of exposure to this sound can cause permanent noise damage (American Academy of Audiology website).
 


Here are some tips for protecting your hearing:

Wear ...

How to manage tinnitus (when your ears are ringing)

November 11, 2013

Almost all individuals experience ”transient ear noises” which is the intermittent sensation of ringing (lasting less than 5 minutes), typically in one ear. At times this sensation is accompanied by a sensation of fullness or a momentary change in hearing. When this change is brief, it is a normal phenomenon.  If it lasts longer than 5 minutes twice week, you should be evaluated for tinnitus.

What should I do when my ear(s) start ringing? 

The first step is a comprehensive hearing evaluation by an audiologist.  Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of auditory disorders and a complete audiology evaluation will confirm and/or rule out many of these conditions.  Pending the hearing test results, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist (sometimes referred to as an ENT or an Ear, Nose and Throat physician) or other health care providers.  The otolaryngologist will further investigate your tinnitus for possible medical causes. 

It is n...

Hearing loss in the workplace

May 27, 2013

Hearing loss is a term that many associate with an aging population. For some it may trigger memories of large, obvious and obtrusive hearing aids or devices that squealed!  This is not the reality in 2013.  A look at the individuals I see every day as an audiologist reveals a large number of employed professionals who are encountering difficulty in work environments.  From telephone work to conference and lunch meetings, hearing loss is impacting our workforce.

The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) estimates that nearly 1 in 5 Americans between the ages of 45-64 years of age experience hearing loss.  The prevalence of hearing loss increases with age and with an aging workforce that includes many working well into their 70s, it should be noted that the incidence of hearing loss increases to 1 in 3 for Americans between the ages of 65-74 years of ag...

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? (Tips for better hearing at the holidays)

December 19, 2012

The holidays are a busy time! Some love the hustle and bustle of the holidays and others can be worn down with to-do lists, shopping, planning and parties. Individuals with hearing loss can be especially impacted by the holidays if they are attending parties and group gatherings. They may be listening to unfamiliar voices and meeting people for the first time. Here are a few tips to support your family member through this busy time of the year.

Friends and family members can support someone with hearing loss in the following ways:

  • When attending group settings or restaurants, try to find a quiet area.
  • If you notice someone is not tuning into the conversation, try to repeat, rephrase or state the topic.
  • At times your family member may just need a listening break. Excuse yourselves and find a quite space to visit alone for a few minutes. Or better yet, participate in “people watching” and really give those ears a break!
  • <...

What is an audiologist?

October 17, 2012

An audiologist is a master’s or doctoral level trained professional who evaluates, treats and manages hearing and balance disorders in children and adults. Audiologist work in a variety of settings such as medical centers, private practice clinics, universities, schools, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) physician clinics, Veteran’s Administration and military settings.

At Swedish, you will find caring and talented audiologists with a wealth of clinical experiences. The audiologists at Swedish have experience with infant through geriatric diagnostic hearing evaluations, auditory evoked potentials, vestibular evaluations, tinnitus management and the selection and fitting of hearing aids. Additionally, audiologists work closely with surgeons to complete the fitting and programming of osseo-integrated devices, cochlear implants and brainstem implants following surgery.

Because most hearing issues are not ...

Five Tips for Better Hearing

May 02, 2011

Did you know that portable music players produce sound at up to 100 decibels? That’s approaching the level of a jet plane taking off, which measures 120 decibels. Any volumes higher than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss if listened to for prolonged periods of time.

May is Better Hearing Month, celebrated by the American Academy of Audiology. It’s a great time to assess the health of your hearing, and recognize its importance in daily life.

Small changes in day-to-day activities can go a long way in maintaining good hearing in the future: