Referring Doctors and Audiologists

Who to refer for a Cochlear Implant

For our referring ENT surgeons, GPs and audiologists, we have listed common referral criteria that should generally be met before considering referral of a patient to Northside Audiology.


Our current criteria include patients with bilateral severe to profound hearing loss, who have trialled hearing aids unsuccessfully. These patients should have speech discrimination scores of < 70 percent in the better hearing aided ear and < 40 percent in the aided ear to be implanted. For hybrid implants, ski sloped hearing loss (with low frequency preservation) is ideal.


Ideally, patients should have MRI and CT scans of the inner ear to determine that their anatomy is suitable for implantation.

Patient Expectations

Patients should have the appropriate dexterity to manipulate a small electronic device, have realistic expectations (that is, understand that it is not a miracle cure) and be willing to relearn how to hear.

You can use our convenient online referral form to refer your patients to Northside Audiology.

Examples of good cochlear implant candidates include:

  • The child born deaf or deafened after learning to hear and speak, that is not getting good benefit from appropriately fitted hearing aids.
  • A deaf adult, who has tried appropriately fitted hearing aids for at least three months with no benefit.

Example of a not so good cochlear implant candidate include:

  • An adult who has been deaf since birth and throughout their whole adult life, who is now seeking to hear again.

The Northside Difference

All too often, a health care professional refers their patient to an implant centre and then receives no communication about the referred patient.  In some cases, the patient never even returns to the original health care professional.

For our referring audiologists, we offer this guarantee: that we will endeavour to communicate frequently and thoroughly about your patient’s hearing health.

Once Northside Audiology has completed the implant process (either Cochlear implant or BAHA) and the patient has a hearing aid that has been fitted by you and still requires that aid to hear, then we guarantee to ‘share the care’ of this client with you, in an arrangement that works best for you.  At Northside Audiology, with your help, we aim for simply better hearing.