Physician’s Guide

Approximately 38 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, but only 7-8 million use hearing aids. Technology continues to improve dramatically and many of the problems that could not be helped in the past can now be solved. In 90% of cases, hearing problems can be helped with the use of hearing aids. At Audiological Consultants of Atlanta, our licensed audiologists provide a full range of hearing services to children and adults of all ages, including diagnostic hearing evaluations, and a wide selection of technologically advanced hearing aids with the expertise to match. We receive many phone calls from physicians asking which patients are appropriate candidates for hearing tests and hearing aids. So we’ve developed this Physician’s Guide to Audiology Services to help answer some of your questions.

Symptoms and  Complaints Possible Etiologies (Not an Exhaustive List) Possible Evaluation and treatment Services
“I hear but can’t understand”. Presbycusis; sensorineural hearing loss secondary to noise exposure or ototoxic drug reaction; genetic deterioration of hearing; cochlear otosclerosis. Audiological evaluation; hearing aid services.
Sudden hearing loss. Impacted cerumen or foreign body in ear canal; otitis media; ototoxic reaction; cochlear hydrops; viral infection or vascular deficiency in cochlea; acoustic neuroma. Audiological evaluation including vestibular tesdting and ABR; hearing aid services.
Sensation of “fullness” or pressure in ears. Otitis media; intermittent or chronic negative middle ear pressure; eustachian tube dysfunction, Meniere’s disease; low-frequency hearing loss; otosclerosis. Audiological evaluation; tympanometry.
Difficulty understanding in noise or on the telephone; academic problems; poor reading skills; short attention span; speech/language delay. Peripheral hearing loss; central auditory processing disorder,(CAPD). Audiological evaluation; central auditory processing evaluation; hearing aid services; assistive listening devices
Tinnitus, head noises, “music,” roaring, hissing, whistling, clanging, etc. Impacted cerumen or foreign body in ear canal; noise exposure; Meniere’s disease; acoustic neuroma; progressive hearing loss; ototoxic reaction to drugs. Audiological evaluation; OAE; ABR; tinnitus evaluation and treatment, such as tinnitus maskers and/or Tinnitus Retraining therapy (trT) for suppression of annoying effects of tinnitus or Neuromonics tinnitus treatment option.
Dizziness, unsteadiness, vertigo. Benign paroxysmal positioning vertigo (BPPV); Meniere’s disease; labyrinthitis; acoustic neuroma; oval/round window fistula. Audiological evaluation including vestibular testing and ABR; Canalith Repositioning Procedure (CRP) for treatment of BPPV; fistula tests.
Facial numbness; asymmetry of facial muscles. Bell’s Palsy; facial nerve compression; acoustic neuroma. Audiological evaluation including tympanometry and contra- and ipsilateral acoustic reflexes; ABR; OAE.