Info for New Patients
What to expect at your initial consultation
Before you arrive for your first visit to Kentucky Audiology and Tinnitus Services, you will be asked to complete several forms, some which are required by HIPAA and others which help us evaluate your problems. Please download the appropriate Patient Information forms (below) and fill them out before coming in for your appointment. In most cases the forms need to be received in our office PRIOR to your appointment. You may fax, email or mail the forms to the office.
Forms for All New Patients
We offer both limited and comprehensive tinnitus evaluations.
A limited evaluation is approximately 1 hour and includes a brief interview regarding your problems and concerns, a hearing test and a brief educational session regarding tinnitus.
A comprehensive tinnitus evaluation is a 2-3 hour appointment. It includes a detailed interview regarding your problems and concerns, a hearing test, tinnitus pitch and loudness matching, minimum masking levels as well as a few other specialized tests allowing us to assess your tinnitus. Many of these tests are unique to a practice that specializes in tinnitus.
If you have had recent audiological testing, please bring these results with you. Any testing you have already completed will not be repeated and the cost of the evaluation will be adjusted accordingly. Following the initial evaluation, if you have not already been medically evaluated, you may be scheduled for a medical evaluation with a physician to ensure no medically treatable condition exists. The physician may order other tests as well.
Your first appointment will conclude with the results of your tests and a detailed counseling session. At that time we will provide you with more information about tinnitus/sound sensitivity issues/hearing loss, answer your concerns and questions, discuss the various treatment options, and propose a treatment plan. Your individualized treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
- Specialized Hearing Instruments
- Noise generating devices
- One-on-one counseling
Your treatment plan will depend on the results of your evaluation, and will be fully explained to you.
Should you decide to proceed with treatment, your next appointment will be scheduled before you leave.
Tinnitus Evaluation Forms
An evaluation for sound sensitivity without tinnitus is approximately a 2 hour appointment and includes a detailed interview regarding your problems and concerns, a hearing test, measurement of loudness discomfort levels and possibly some other specialized tests. The results of the testing, the mechanisms thought to be responsible for sound sensitivity issues and treatment recommendations will be thoroughly discussed with you at this appointment. Should you decide to proceed with treatment, your next appointment will be made for you leave.
Hyperacusis Evaluation Forms
The initial evaluation for misophonia is approximately two hours and includes a detailed interview regarding your issues and concerns, a hearing test, and loudness discomfort levels. Following the evaluation, a detailed explanation of the auditory system and the mechanisms thought to be responsible for soft sound sensitivity syndrome will be discussed as well as options and strategies for management of the misophonia symptoms.
Misophonia Evaluation Forms
If you are being evaluated for hearing loss, your initial evaluation will be an hour appointment. Following the completion of a comprehensive hearing test, the results will be fully explained to you. If amplification is an option, the different styles and types will be thoroughly discussed. Your lifestyle and budget will be taken into consideration when making a decision about what is most appropriate for you. Sometimes demonstration aids are available to sample how the hearing aids sound while you are in the office.
Depending on the configuration and type of hearing loss you have, you may be referred to a physician for medical clearance before we can proceed.
At the delivery of your amplification, you will be at the office for about an hour. You will be instructed on the care and the appropriate use of the hearing aids. Payment is expected at the time of delivery Most people typically come back for a follow-up appointment 2 or 3 weeks after the delivery.
Hearing Loss Evaluation Forms
- Authorization to Use and Disclosure of Health Information (PDF | Word)
- Consent to use Email (PDF | Word)
Tinnitus Testing and Consultation Fees
Kentucky Audiology & Tinnitus Services, PLLC is not in network with any insurance companies. Payment is required at the time of service. We will gladly file the claim with your insurance company. The insurance company will reimburse you for any covered expenses.
At Kentucky Audiology & Tinnitus Services, we do NOT want to turn anyone away for financial reasons. If you need financial assistance, please talk with us about options to assist you. We offer FREE phone screenings to determine the most appropriate and cost effective evaluation for your problems.
Initial Evaluation Fees
Limited evaluation: $175
Comprehensive evaluation: $450
Misophonia evaluation: $275
Hearing aid Evaluation: $75
To help finance more extensive health care needs not covered under your health insurance plan, KATS accepts Care Credit, an option to finance larger amounts not covered by health insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you treat tinnitus?
Our treatment is called Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, but other names such as Habituation Therapy are common. It involves an extensive audiological evaluation, several counseling sessions, the use of external sound, and frequently the use of sound devices. It does not involve surgery or drugs.
What does retraining therapy mean?
We try to retrain the subconscious parts of the brain to ignore the sound of your tinnitus, achieving a point at which you are not aware of and no longer annoyed by your tinnitus.
Are there any side effects of the treatment?
There are not any side effects.
What kind of audiological tests are performed? Will they hurt my ears? What if I can’t hear my tinnitus when I am tested?
The tests include an audiogram and several specific tests which allow us to evaluate the existence and degree of your tinnitus/sound sensitivity issues. The tests begin with low levels of sound that gradually get louder, therefore, none of the tests will be painful. If the tinnitus is not present on the day of the testing, it will NOT influence the possibility of success with the treatment.
I recently had audiological tests done. Do they have to be repeated?
We prefer to have the tests performed in our Center. Equipment calibrations may vary and there are also very specific measurements we perform which are not routinely provided in other places.
Is the counseling a form of psychotherapy or biofeedback?
No, the counseling will provide you with information about the causes and factors involved in your tinnitus/sound sensitivity issues, explain to you how the retraining therapy works, and teach you how to control your tinnitus. The counseling is a fundamental part of the treatment process.
What is the role of external sound?
External sound from radios, TVs, stereos, etc. is used at a low level, not to cover (mask) your tinnitus, but to help bring about the changes in your subconscious hearing system. It reduces the contrast between your tinnitus and complete silence, and slightly distracts you from the sound of your tinnitus.
What are the devices and what do they look like?
The devices used in retraining therapy are called “noise generators” or “retraining instruments”. The devices are small instruments that are worn either behind or inside both ears. They should not interfere with your work or talking on the telephone; in fact, the in-the-ear devices can be worn while sleeping.
Can I just buy the devices?
The devices are used to help speed up the retraining, but what is important is how they are used. How the devices are used depends on each individual patient’s need. If you just buy and wear the devices, you most likely will not achieve improvement, and in some cases you may even harm yourself. We will teach you how to use them effectively.
Do I need to have the devices?
Not everyone needs the devices. After your audiological evaluation, we will give you our recommendation regarding your treatment.
I am using hearing instruments. How can I use other devices?
Depending on the type of hearing instruments, it is possible we can work with your hearing instruments and you will not need any other devices, or you may alternate between amplification and retraining devices.
I was using maskers without any effect. What’s the difference between maskers and these devices?
Although in some cases masking can provide tinnitus relief, this approach is aimed at making tinnitus inaudible. However, when the device is removed, the tinnitus returns and the level of sound required to mask the tinnitus may be uncomfortable. We use the devices to generate noise, not to cover, but to mix with the sound of tinnitus. The goal of retraining therapy is to retrain the brain so that it eventually does not pick up the tinnitus sound. In order for this to happen, the tinnitus cannot be covered. Generating sound that mixes with your tinnitus will help you feel more comfortable and remove the emotional response to tinnitus – followed by the habituation of perception of the tinnitus itself so that it is no longer heard.
My mother is deaf and has tinnitus. Can she benefit from Tinnitus Retraining Therapy?
This therapy uses sound as a portion of the protocol. If your mother is completely deaf and does not have a cochlear implant, she would not be able to benefit from this therapy. However, the use of electrical stimulation of the ear (through cochlear implant or external stimulation) combined with Tinnitus Retraining Therapy may help. If she can hear sound, even if she cannot recognize speech, we can try to help her. If the deafness is only in one ear, she can be successfully treated using a modified method described by Dr. Natan Bauman. (Transcranial fittings for tinnitus therapy)
I am taking some medication. Will I be able to continue?
Our evaluation will provide the answer to this question. In general, if you are taking medication for any reason other than tinnitus, you should be able to continue taking the medication.
How long does the treatment take?
The treatment takes from 8 to 24 months.
Will I be cured?
You will no longer be bothered or annoyed by your tinnitus. However, if you concentrate and want to hear your tinnitus, you will. This is why Tinnitus Retraining Therapy is referred to as a treatment and not a cure.
What is the guarantee that I get better?
There is no guarantee. However research shows over 80% of people treated with TRT reported significant improvement.
How are sound sensitivity issues treated?
Sound sensitivity issues are also treated using the TRI devices. In most cases the treatment lasts anywhere between 6-12 months. It involves wearing the sound devices with counseling especially if and when this is associated with an aversion to sounds. (Sound sensitivity issues in most instances can be completely cured.)
If I am using retraining therapy for my sound sensitivity issues and need to have dental work done, including some high speed drilling, can I have it done and what can I expect?
You should avoid exposure to the loud sound. Sound sensitivity issues can worsen after high speed drilling.