TA-4: Assessment and Management of Functional Hearing Loss in Adults


The concept of “functional hearing loss” in adults has received much attention over the past decade and interest in this continues to grow. Also known as auditory processing disorder (APD), suprathreshold auditory disorders (SAD), and/or possibly hidden hearing loss, adults with functional hearing disorders present to audiology clinics regularly with significant auditory complaints. Often, they report being told that they have “normal hearing” because their audiogram reflects having “normal detection” thresholds. This presentation is focused on how to address functional concerns in listeners, from assessment to treatment. Case history indicators and questionnaires to help direct an assessment will be provided. Assessment protocols will be discussed. Treatment plans that effectively address patient concerns related to hearing and listening will be described. Cases will be provided to support taking action as an audiologist with these populations. Issues related to the ethics of clinical care and the importance of practicing at the top of our scope of practice will be addressed.

Learner objectives:

At the end of this presentation, the learner will be able to:

  1. Define functional hearing loss and it’s role in patient care
  2. Create a test battery for patients with functional hearing loss
  3. Design a treatment plan for address the needs of these patient populations
  4. Provide recommendations that address quality of life issues for people with functional hearing loss