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Referral Criteria

  1. Sudden, acquired hearing loss
  2. Children or adolescents over the age of 10 with a sudden hearing loss should be referred to the programme immediately (those under the age of 10 should be referred to the paediatric service). Due to the risk of ossification which can lead to surgical complications, adolescents who have lost their hearing due to meningitis are placed in a fast-track option which enables surgery to happen as quickly as possible if necessary. Sudden hearing loss due to head trauma should also be given priority in referral
  3. Patients with progressive hearing loss
  4. Patients who have had benefit from hearing aids but whose hearing has gotten worse to the point where even powerful hearing aids are no longer useful should be referred. The adolescent team welcomes early referrals in this instance and would advise that patients with progressive hearing loss are referred before their loss of hearing begins to negatively impact their education. This allows the team to offer information about cochlear implants to adolescents and their families even if the patient is not yet a candidate for an implant.
  5. Patients born with a profound hearing loss
  6. Patients who were born with a severe to profound hearing loss but who have developed spoken language by using powerful hearing aids will be considered on a case by case basis for candidacy. It should be noted that adolescents who have never utilized their hearing for spoken language will likely not benefit from a cochlear implant and they are not appropriate referral choices.