The UK NSC recommendation on Hearing loss screening in adults
||Systematic population screening programme not recommended
|Last review completed
|Next review due in
A systematic population screening programme of hearing loss in older adults is not recommended.
Hearing loss in older adults is a serious public health problem. The evidence is too limited to establish the type of screening test to be used, the severity of hearing loss to target, the age of the population to be screened, the frequency of screening. The effectiveness of the long term use of hearing aids and on the effectiveness of additional interventions aimed at improving the duration of hearing aid use is also uncertain.
There remains an absence of RCT evidence demonstrating that screen detected hearing loss results in better outcomes compared with hearing loss detected through usual care.
Find general information about population health screening.
Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?
- research into screening and hearing loss found a number of problems which prevent the UK NSC recommending a screening programme
- the evidence is too limited to establish the best type of test to be used, the level of hearing loss to target, the age at which people should start to be screened and the amount of time between screening test
- there is also a lack of evidence about the acceptability of the available treatments
- despite the high prevalence of hearing loss and many options for amplification, a significant proportion of those with hearing loss do not use hearing aids for any length of time
- the research also reports a lack of evidence on the benefit from long term use of hearing aids
More about Hearing Loss (adult)
Hearing impairment, or deafness, is when hearing is affected by a disease, disorder or injury. Hearing loss can be present at birth or develop in childhood or adulthood.
» Read more about hearing impairment on NHS Choices
• Action on Hearing Loss
• Age UK
• British Academy of Audiology
• British Geriatrics Society
• British Society of Audiology
• British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists
• Deafness Research UK
• The Ear Foundation
• Faculty of Public Health
• London North West Healthcare- ENT Department
• National Community Hearing Association
• Royal College of General Practitioners
• Royal College of Physicians
• Screening for Life Coalition
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed.
If you think your organisation should be added, please
More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.
Adult hearing screening cover sheet March 2009 (PDF document, 80KB, 18/11/10)
Consultation Comments Redacted Part 1 (PDF document, 380KB, 15/01/16)
Consultation Comments Redacted Part 2 (PDF document, 1.52MB, 15/01/16)
Consultation Comments Redacted Part 3 (PDF document, 691KB, 15/01/16)
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