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      NICE draft guidance on adult hearing loss: Consultation response

      The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a draft guidance on the assessment and management of hearing loss in adults for consultation. We would like to know your views in three key areas to include them in our formal response to the draft.

      By: Tahrima Choudhury | 08 December 2017

      The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent organisation, set up by the Government in 1999, to provide national guidance and quality standards on treatments and care for health and social care practitioners and commissioners.

      NICE has published their draft guidance on the assessment and management of hearing loss in adults for consultation. NICE draft guidance can be found here.

      We will be submitting a formal response to the guideline and want to ensure that people with deafness and hearing loss have their views included in our response. We would like to hear your views on recommendations on the following areas:

      Hearing aids: 

      NICE has recommended that hearing aids should be offered to adults whose hearing loss affects their ability to communicate, two hearing aids should be offered to adults with hearing loss in both ears.

      We support this recommendation. There is significant evidence on the improvements to health and well-being from using hearing aids. Research shows that fitting two hearing aids improves speech clarity and reduces listening strain, and enables better localisation of sound.

      Role of GPs in referring to audiology services: 

      NICE has recommended that GPs should refer all adults, regardless of their age who present for the first time with hearing difficulties, or whom hearing difficulties are suspected. 

      We support this recommendation. GPs play a crucial role in the NHS for people with hearing loss, however evidence suggests that often GPs can act as a barrier to people getting help for their hearing loss, by failing to make referrals to audiology services.  

      Removing earwax in primary and community care:  

      NICE has recommended that removal of earwax in primary or community care is offered to adults if it is contributing to hearing loss or other symptoms, or prevents examination of the ear.

      We support this recommendation. Excessive earwax has a negative impact on the ear, hearing and hearing aids. It also affects delivery of services by audiology and ear nose and throat (ENT) departments.  

      Our response to the draft guideline will reviewed by NICE, and changes will be made to the guideline if considered appropriate. The final version is due to be published in May 2018.


      To have your views included in our response,
      please read the guidance and share with us your views by commenting below or emailing Tahrima Choudhury at tahrima.choudhury@hearingloss.org.uk by the 5th of January 2018.

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      Our ears are our organs of hearing and balance. They have three parts: the outer, middle and inner ear.