Here are some tips for protecting your hearing:
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Kristiina Huckabay, AuD provides a wide range of diagnostic audiologic and amplification services from infant through geriatrics and is dedicated to a high-quality of care. She enjoys educating each individual regarding their unique audiometric configuration, in order to understand the implications of their hearing loss in their communicative environments. For individuals motivated to improve their communication abilities, Dr. Huckabay will educate each patient regarding the numerous amplification options that exist and assist them in making an informed decision regarding their hearing healthcare.Personal Interests
Traveling, cross country and alpine skiing, water sports and spending time with family.Medical School
Arizona School of Health SciencesBoard Certifications
Board Certified in AudiologyLanguages:
Affiliate Instructor at the University of Washington's Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, American Academy of Audiology (AAA), American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Certificate of Clinical Competency in Audiology (CCC-A)Awards:
Inaugural Future Leaders of Audiology Conference, Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) Professional Leadership Award
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.
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 normal for tinnitus to occasionally change in the pitch and intensity; however, significant and prolonged changes in tinnitus (increased loudness or tinnitus that is one-sided) should be (re)evaluated. Tinnitus that is present in one ear (unilateral) or pulsatile will always require an otolaryngology evaluation after the hearing evaluation. Tinnitus that is accompanied by a sudden hearing loss is considered an emergent condition and individuals should be evaluated by an audiologist and otolaryngologist as soon as possible.
Tinnitus can evoke ...
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 age. We now have a culture of employment that includes unique viewpoints from four generations working side by side. Many of us are aware that intergenerational communication styles may vary. It would behoove us to also consider hearing loss as we think about intergenerational communication in the workplace.
Individuals who work in a quiet or solitary environment may “get by” with their hearing loss. However, most individuals will encounter much more complex listening environments at work. Imagine if you had hearing loss and were required to listen in the following environments:
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:
A little understanding can go a long way. If you are curious what your family member might be experiencing, listen to the hearing loss simulator and choose “speech in a restaurant”. I can guarantee you will be shocked to experience the impact of hearing loss on speech understanding. Imagine working that hard to understand speech for a few hours at the end of the day in a loud setting.
For individuals with hearing loss:
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 medically treatable, most individuals with hearing loss work...
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:
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