Effective prevention is essential to reduce the burden of hearing loss, but how can we identify those at risk?
We believe effective prevention will reduce developmental, cognitive, social and economic burdens of hearing loss.
To explore this we plan to implement new strategies for identifying individuals at risk of hearing loss and quantitatively assess interventions. We have:
- Evaluated screening in middle-aged adults to identify individuals at risk of burdensome hearing loss. We are continuing this work via a NIHR program development grant to evaluate how to capture hearing health information from primary care data
- Investigated the connection between health inequality and the development and impact of hearing loss in older adults. Two students have successfully completed PhD studentships using data from the UK Biobank and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). We plan to continue this work using Welsh patient data sets.
- We have successfully identified proactive behaviour based on theory and best practices to reduce hearing loss the building blocks for hearing protection interventions in noisy recreational settings. In the future we will be using this information to develop and evaluate interventions to protect hearing in noisy recreational settings and will be applying the same principles to investigating other hearing health issues, such as hearing aid uptake and use.