Hearing loss

In the UK, hearing loss affects 1 in 6. Hearing loss prevalence increases sharply with age, affecting more than 40% of people aged over 50 years, and rising above 70% of people aged over 70 years .

It is very important to diagnose and treat hearing loss because hearing loss can lead to loss of productivity, impaired communication, social withdrawal, and reduced quality of life. Furthermore, people with hearing loss have higher rates of depression, hospitalisation, falls and death, and hearing loss can increase risk of dementia by up to 5 times. Clinical assessment with targeted history and examination can identify the characteristics and cause of hearing loss, and complementary audiological testing can confirm its type and severity. Retrocochlear screening is recommended for sudden, rapidly progressive, or asymmetric sensorineural hearing loss. Medical or surgical therapies may be indicated in cases of conductive hearing loss, whilst hearing assistive devices and hearing aids are the mainstay of rehabilitation for sensorineural hearing loss.