Auditory Overview

Hearing is among the important senses that provide perceptions to human beings about environmental stimuli and conditions outside of the human body. The auditory system is composed of the structures of the ear related to perception and reception of sound (peripheral auditory system), and the organization and meaning designated to the sounds heard (central auditory system). The ear, the organ of hearing, is the main component of the auditory system. The ear has a dual function; hearing and maintenance of equilibrium. The structures of the ear consist of the external, the middle, and the inner ear. The auricle and the external auditory canal are parts of the external ear. The auricle is the part of the ear that is not enclosed in the head. The middle ear includes the tympanic membrane and the small ear bones (ossicles) named the malleus, incus, and stapes. The ossicles are joined together and extend from the tympanic membrane to the oval window. The middle ear communicates with the eustachian tube, the nasopharynx, and the mastoid cells in the mastoid bone. The external and middle portions of the ear serve to conduct and amplify sound waves received from the environment. The inner ear structures include the semicircular canals, cochlea, and auditory nerve (vestibulocochlear nerve). The receptor organ for hearing is the cochlea, and the semicircular canals contribute to the maintenance of balance. Sound is transmitted to the inner ear and picked up by the cochlea. The impulses initiated are then carried by nerve fibers to the acoustic portion of the VIIIth cranial nerve, and then to the brain.


Diagnostic Code Name VA Exam Acronym
6100 Hearing impairment (hearing loss) Audio HL
6200 Otitis media, mastoiditis, or cholesteatoma (or any combination) Ear Disease SOM
6201 Chronic nonsuppurative otitis media with effusion (serious otitis media) Ear Disease ---
6202 Otosclerosis Ear Disease ---
6204 Peripheral vestibular disorders Ear Disease ---
6205 Meniere's syndrome Ear Disease ---
6207 Loss of auricle Ear Disease ---
6208 Malignant neoplasm of the ear (other than skin only) Ear Disease ---
6209 Benign neoplasms of the ear (other than skin only) Ear Disease ---
6210 Chronic otitis externa Ear Disease OE (otitis externa)
6211 Tympanic membrane, perforation of Ear Disease TM (tympanic membrane)
6260 Tinnitus, recurrent Audio ---


Diagnostic Code Name VA Exam Acronym
6275 Loss of sense of smell, complete Sense of Smell & Taste ---
6276 Loss of sense of taste, complete Sense of Smell & Taste ---


Diagnostic Code
There are no common analogous codes for the Auditory body system. However, there may be a situation in which an analogous code is appropriate.


Diagnostic Code Name New Diagnostic Code
6203 Otitis interna Deleted
6206 Mastoiditis Deleted