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BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #37

Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline

with Dr. Jed Grisel and Dr. Joe Walter Kutz

Dr. Joe Walter Kutz talks with Dr. Jed Grisel about practice patterns treating patients with hearing loss, as well as the correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline, and how best to screen these patients.

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Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline with Dr. Jed Grisel and Dr. Joe Walter Kutz on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Ep 37 Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline with Dr. Jed Grisel and Dr. Joe Walter Kutz
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2021, November 16). Ep. 37 – Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Dr. Jed Grisel discusses Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline on the BackTable 37 Podcast

Dr. Jed Grisel

Dr. Jed Grisel is a practicing otolaryngologist in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Dr. Joe Walter Kutz discusses Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline on the BackTable 37 Podcast

Dr. Joe Walter Kutz

Dr. Joe Walter Kutz is a neurotologist and Professor of Otolaryngology and Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.

Show Notes

In this episode, otolaryngologist Dr. Jed Grisel joins neurotologist Dr. Walter Kutz to discuss the link between hearing and cognition, counseling families about treatment outcomes, and practice building opportunities for ENT/audiology clinics.

Dr. Grisel describes changing trends in the hearing care market, such as direct-to-consumer marketing and over the counter hearing aids, which can alter patients’ relationships with ENTs. He emphasizes that these low cost options make hearing care more accessible to patients. They also provide otolaryngologists with the stimulus to branch out into new service lines and position themselves as comprehensive hearing experts. His clinic has recently added cognitive screening to their diagnostic workup. Dr. Grisel highlights the advantages of cognitive screening, which include a better understanding of the patient experience, more effective management of patient and family expectations, and relationship building with primary care providers.

The doctors also talk about the implementation process of cognitive testing in ENT/audiology clinics. Dr. Grisel shares his practice’s experience with cognitive screening kiosks that minimize the requirements for patient dexterity.

As healthcare advances, more and more people are living longer and reaching ages of hearing loss onset. The doctors discuss what it means to have more years of sensory deprivation and how ENTs can offer interventions to reduce the patient’s cognitive load and improve overall cognitive function.


Texoma ENT and Allergy:

Dementia Prevention, Intervention, and Care: 2020 Report of the Lancet Commission:

Transcript Preview

[Jed Grisel MD]
Yeah, I think that anytime we talk about doing something different or bringing in a new service line, there's so many logistics and historically, cognitive testing, I think has been relegated to the research arena because it's hard, you have to have a trained administrator of the test.

The traditional test had been paper pencil. So previous tests have been like the mini mental status exam and MoCA, and some of these different tests that are helpful, but the problem with them is there are some challenges with them that they take time, you have to have a trained administrator, and also if the patient is old and they don't have good dexterity or their vision is poor that affects their outcome. And so now you're testing the patient's vision and dexterity and not their cognitive abilities. And so the game changer for us to implement this in our practice has been the ability to have an automated self administered version of a cognitive test.

And that's what we've been using for the last year. And so this is a test that sits like a little kiosk in the office. It takes about five minutes for the patient to do. It's self administered. So, a technician, not a trained audiologist or even an audiology tech. In fact, our receptionists can, before they see the audiologist, can sit them in the location where we have the test and get the patient started and then the patient does everything else.
And this test has been, kind of rigorously studied and in terms of its repeatability and how valid the test is from patient to patient and from test to test. And so you kind of get rid of some of those distractions that would make the test invalid.

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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