» Information for Physicians

Information for Physicians

Routine Hearing Assessments at All Ages

At Clayton Park Audiology we believe children and adults of all ages should have their hearing checked routinely. Often changes in hearing are gradual and can go unnoticed for several years.

It is important for physicians to note that most people with hearing loss can hear okay or get by in quiet environments such as a doctor’s office. This means it can be almost impossible for a physician to realize the extent of their patient’s hearing loss during appointments.

If your patients have questions about their hearing, please refer them to our clinic and our team will be happy to assist them with all their hearing-related questions and concerns. Patients requiring hearing assessment services covered by MSI can self-refer to Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia. Patients do not need a referral to have their hearing assessed.

Hearing testing for children: Currently, Nova Scotia does not offer school-aged hearing screenings. All children should have their hearing tested before starting school. Families can self-refer their children to Hearing and Speech Nova Scotia for a complete hearing test covered under MSI. Families looking for immediate care can self-refer their children to our clinic. We are happy to test children ages 4 and up.

Hearing Test Guidelines

Children and Teens:

  • Newborn hearing screening
  • Before starting school
  • Annually until grade 3
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 11

Adults:

  • Every 5-10 years for adults aged 18-54 without risk factors for hearing loss.
  • Every 2-5 years for adults aged 18-54 with risk factors for hearing loss.
  • Every 1-2 years for adults aged 55 years and up.

When to Refer

Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Patients presenting with a sudden decrease in hearing should be referred immediately to a registered audiologist for a hearing assessment. Our clinic will always prioritise potential SSHL cases and have your patient assessed the same day. If a SSHL is suspected, immediate referral to an on-call ENT will be arranged by our clinic.

SSHL symptoms include: acute onset of hearing loss, usually unilateral but can be bilateral, 70% of cases experience tinnitus, 50% of cases experiences vertigo, aural pressure/fullness, and distortion of sound/speech on the affected side.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is often a symptom of an auditory disorder. All patients presenting with tinnitus should have an audiological assessment.

Chronic Health Conditions

Vascular conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease increase one’s risk of hearing loss due to the inner ear’s reliance on adequate blood flow and composition. Patients with these chronic health conditions should have their hearing checked annually.

Vertigo

While referral to ENT may be warranted, an audiological assessment by a registered audiologist should also be completed any time a patient presents with vertigo. Often, ENT will require a hearing assessment before examination.

History of Falling

If your patient has a history of falling, an audiological assessment should be completed by a registered audiologist to rule out an underlying hearing loss.

Cognitive Decline/Problems with Memory

Recent research is suggesting a link between cognitive decline and dementia in patients with untreated hearing loss. Early treatment of hearing loss with amplification has been found to reduce one’s risk of cognitive decline.

Chemotherapy and/or Head and Neck Radiation

Chemotherapy drugs cisplatin and carboplatin can cause permanent hearing loss. Radiation to the head and neck can also cause hearing loss. Patients receiving these cancer treatments should have their hearing checked more frequently.

Ear Wax Removal Services

Our clinic is happy to offer ear wax removal services to your patients aged 5 years and older. Our wax removal appointment fee is $80.