Sound Advice for Your Patients
If you are concerned that your patient is experiencing hearing problems, it is important to know the options available for treatment. Our team of highly trained NZAS audiologists is dedicated to our client centred approach of preventative, diagnostic and rehabilitative solutions to hearing loss.
Who should you refer?
Anyone you suspect has a hearing loss. Early detection of hearing loss can help prevent on-going health issues.
Audiological referral guidelines
Hearing loss is the third most prevalent age-related disability following arthritis and hypertension suffered by adults 75+. 1 in 6 New Zealanders experience hearing loss. It affects a person’s physical and mental health, yet is often under-diagnosed and under-treated.
A complete diagnostic hearing assessment is recommended for any patients presenting with one or more of the below Auditory-Vestibular symptoms:
- Sudden hearing loss
- Aural fullness
These symptoms can be indicators of middle and inner ear pathologies, including Meniere’s Disease, acoustic neuroma, cholesteatoma and perilymphatic fistule.
Hearing – Related Risk Factors
- Ageing: 25% of people 65 – 75 years old, and 70-80% of people over 75 years old have some degree of hearing loss
- Noise Exposure: Both long and short-term noise exposure can damage the cochlea
- Diabetes: Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes compared to those without
- Ototoxicity: There are more than 200 medications on the market today that are known to cause hearing loss e.g. aspirin, quinine, cistaplatin, gentamicin, carboplatin, loop diuretics
- Smoking: Current smokers have a 70% higher risk of having hearing loss than non-smokers
- Heart Health: Inadequate blood flow and trauma to the blood vessels of the inner ear can cause hearing loss
- Head or Ear Trauma: Particularly to the temporal bone, ear trauma can cause conductive and sensorineural hearing impairment
- Tinnitus: Affects 1 in 5 people. 90% of people with tinnitus also have a hearing loss
If your patients have any concerns about their hearing ability then a referral for a complete diagnostic hearing assessment is recommended.
ACC FREE to Hear
We all work to protect hearing as much as possible, but in the instance where there is a hearing loss that has been caused by exposure to noise in the workplace, ACC provides compensation towards hearing aids. With this compensation Bay Audiology will always be able to tailor at least one solution that will be fully funded. To start this process the GP needs to initiate the claim and at Bay Audiology we will write to you to request it.
As your hearing deteriorates, the sound signals to the brain become weaker, causing auditory deprivation. This can lead to negative effects on the cognitive and memory abilities.
Patients with a 25dB hearing loss, classified as MILD, are nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling and twice as likely to develop dementia, and those with SEVERE hearing loss are five times as likely to develop dementia.
The difference in age equivalent to the cognitive reduction associated with a 25dB increase in hearing in hearing loss is seven years.
How to refer to Bay Audiology
With over 100 clinics nationwide, it is an easy choice on behalf of your patients to refer to Bay Audiology using any of these methods:
- Have a patient on the palette (F2, type in patient name)
- When the patient is on the palette Go to ‘Connectedcare’ in the menu then to ‘Audiology Referrals’ then click ‘Refer to Bay Audiology’
- We will then contact your patient to make the appointment.
Alternatively phone us to speak to your local clinic. 0800 800 864