Top priorities named in hearing loss research

November 26, 2015

Experts have published a list of the most urgent priorities for researching a debilitating condition that affects more than 10 million people in the UK.

Published in The Lancet, the top 10 research priorities for tackling mild to moderate hearing loss aims to re-focus future studies on areas which could potentially have the greatest impact in furthering understanding of the condition and developing successful new treatments.

Co-author Dr Helen Henshaw, a University of Nottingham academic based at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit, said: "Although hearing loss is not deadly, it can have a profound impact on people's ability to maintain relationships, lead a normal life and go out to work.

"With such a huge proportion of the population affected by this condition, it is vital that hearing research funding is prioritised for the questions which are most important to them."

Despite being one of the six health priority areas for the NIHR, significantly less is spent on hearing research - just £47 per one lost year of healthy life compared to other priority conditions such as sight loss (£99) and diabetes (£399).

Currently, evidence which underpins clinical practice is typically provided by researchers in universities that are far-removed from frontline clinical services and which often does not take into account the views and experiences of key stakeholders.

The list of Top 10 hearing loss priorities were identified by an innovative partnership, the James Lind Alliance, which brings together patients, carers and clinicians to identify the unanswered questions about the effects of treatments that they agree are the most important.

It canvassed the views of more than 460 people on what they believed were the most significant treatment uncertainties before asking them to rank the importance of more than 80 research questions connected to these areas on a scale of importance. The top 30 ranked questions were then taken forward to a final prioritisation workshop, which then narrowed these down to the final top 10 based on consensus from a group of patients, family, friends and clinicians.

The final top 10 includes questions about the prevention (or cure), diagnosis and treatment, with the majority of treatment questions concerned with aspects of hearing aid provision.

All of the uncertainties identified by the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership, including the top 10, will be uploaded to the Database of Uncertainties About the Effects of Treatments to be made widely to the public, the research community, research commissioners and research funders.
-end-
The project was supported by funding awarded by the Nottingham University Hospitals Charity and the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit Programme.

A full copy of the paper can be viewed on The Lancet website (after the embargo lifts) at http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)01048-X/abstract

University of Nottingham

Related Hearing Loss Articles from Brightsurf:

Proof-of-concept for a new ultra-low-cost hearing aid for age-related hearing loss
A new ultra-affordable and accessible hearing aid made from open-source electronics could soon be available worldwide, according to a study published September 23, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Soham Sinha from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia, US, and colleagues.

Ultra-low-cost hearing aid could address age-related hearing loss worldwide
Using a device that could be built with a dollar's worth of open-source parts and a 3D-printed case, researchers want to help the hundreds of millions of older people worldwide who can't afford existing hearing aids to address their age-related hearing loss.

Understanding the link between hearing loss and dementia
Scientists have developed a new theory as to how hearing loss may cause dementia and believe that tackling this sensory impairment early may help to prevent the disease.

Study uncovers hair cell loss as underlying cause of age-related hearing loss
In a study of human ear tissues, scientists have demonstrated that age-related hearing loss is mainly caused by damage to hair cells.

Hair cell loss causes age-related hearing loss
Age-related hearing loss has more to do with the death of hair cells than the cellular battery powering them wearing out, according to new research in JNeurosci.

How hearing loss in old age affects the brain
If your hearing deteriorates in old age, the risk of dementia and cognitive decline increases.

Examining associations between hearing loss, balance
About 3,800 adults 40 and older in South Korea participating in a national health survey were included in this analysis that examined associations between hearing loss and a test of their ability to retain balance.

Veterinarians: Dogs, too, can experience hearing loss
Just like humans, dogs are sometimes born with impaired hearing or experience hearing loss as a result of disease, inflammation, aging or exposure to noise.

Victorian child hearing-loss databank to go global
A unique databank that profiles children with hearing loss will help researchers globally understand why some children adapt and thrive, while others struggle.

Hearing loss, dementia risk in population of Taiwan
A population-based study using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan suggests hearing loss is associated with risk of dementia.

Read More: Hearing Loss News and Hearing Loss Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.