Cochlear Implant Candidacy Evaluation
This is a 1-2 hour appointment. It involves a long series of listening tests in a sound booth. The implant candidate is wearing hearing aids during all testing. Dr. Slater, the audiologists, and the patient’s insurance company, all need to know how severe hearing levels and speech discrimination are with help from appropriate hearing aids. Test results can affect whether a person qualifies for a cochlear implant or not. Also, these test results are required by all insurance companies, to ensure a patient meets criteria and gets coverage for the cochlear implant surgery.
This may be done over the course of several appointments dependent on the cause and degree of tinnitus symptoms. We start with a hearing test. The clinician will then gather information about the patient’s health and tinnitus history and perform a physical exam to determine any underlying causes for the tinnitus. They may order tests such as a CT scan, MRI, and/or vestibular tests to verify or rule out conditions or decide a treatment approach at that time.
Treatment approaches can go in many different directions from this point depending on what is appropriate for each individual patient. Once it is determined that the tinnitus symptoms are not caused by an underlying medical condition that should be treated by medical or surgical means, the patient may be referred to the Audiology Department for further testing and treatment. The patient will be educated on evidence-based tinnitus treatment options, may be fit with hearing aids, and/or referred to one of our allied professionals for a collaborative treatment plan to help reduce the effects of their tinnitus symptoms.
Patients should be referred immediately for examination if they experience any of the following Red Flag symptoms:
- Pulsatile tinnitus
- Tinnitus in one ear only
- Ear pain or drainage
- Symptoms related to head or neck movement
- Vestibular symptoms
- Sudden or rapid reduction in hearing levels
- Sudden onset of tinnitus