When you experience hearing loss, your first questions may be: why has this happened? Was it due to my work environment? Is it related to my age? Did it occur at an event I attended?

In some cases, hearing loss emerges from genetic make-up. A person may have been born with a hearing impairment or have an underlying condition that exacerbates it.

In others, it could result from certain medications. Someone could experience hearing loss as a side effect from a certain course of treatment.

It is also possible to have hearing loss from trauma to the auditory system.  This can include physical trauma or auditory trauma that can occur from loud noise.

For most people there’s no way to define a single cause and you often do not notice it until it significantly impacts your life.

Noise Exposure

Noise-induced hearing loss commonly occurs during the various exercises and activities that dictate a person’s everyday lifestyle.

For example, if you’re a farmer who regularly uses roaring industrial machinery, over a number of years, this could significantly reduce your hearing.

Similarly, if you frequently hunt with firearms and don’t always use the correct ear safety equipment, rigging gunshot blasts could have an impact.

For others that like to see live music each weekend, the thudding bass of a commercial sound system can gradually worsen your hearing.

Whist it is important to appreciate the cumulative effects of noise exposure over time, we must also point out that just one exposure is actually enough to cause hearing loss.  Whilst you are at a higher risk if you often partake in noise intense activities, one exposure is enough to cause damage too.  This is why it is so important to always wear hearing protection when in these kinds of environment.

How Can This Be Treated?

When you come for an appointment at Sound Audiology, we begin by identifying whether your condition is permanent or can be treated medically.

For patients who could benefit from medical procedures, we provide referrals to ear, nose and throat physicians, who can offer certain surgical procedures to fix or significantly improve hearing.

However, for those who have permanent hearing damage, we’ll examine a number of different treatment strategies that can bring about real-life changing experiences.

This could involve the use of hearing aids, regular check-ups and the close monitoring of your conditions. Our patients often see significant improvements in their hearing and ability to communicate with others.

How To Find Out More

Once someone has identified a hearing problem, they’re often unsure of how to find the right person to treat their issue.

If you’re concerned about your hearing, whether from noise related exposure or other causes, the first thing to do is notify your primary care physician.

Once you’ve done this, ask for a referral and one of our excellent doctors at Sound Audiology will be happy to see you and treat your hearing needs.

Are you concerned about noise exposure? Perhaps it’s time to seek expert advice. Click here to schedule an appointment at one of our Kennewick, Walla Walla or Prosser locations today!

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Whitney Jacky Au.D., Audiologist

Whitney Jacky Au.D., Audiologist

Dr. Jacky received her bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders from Western Washington University and her doctorate in audiology from Idaho State University. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Jacky joined Sound Audiology in 2019. Prior to this, she worked in private practice, ENT, and multi-specialty clinic settings.