Routine hearing test for over-55s proves beneficial

An NHS trial to evaluate the benefits of routine screening of people over 55 for hearing problems has found such tests could bring “substantial benefits”.

The trial of 35,000 people in England, Scotland and Wales aged between 55 and 74 found the tests were good value for money, and could mean a programme being rolled out nationally within five years.

More than one in 10 people in the trial were found to have a moderate to severe hearing problem.

The participants were offered a simple 30-second hearing test to identify whether they needed a hearing aid.While just 3% already had hearing aids, 12% had moderate or severe hearing loss.

The researchers from the Medical Research Council’s hearing and communication group estimated that a screening programme, which would most likely be done through GP surgeries, could cost as little as £13 per person, or £100 per person if the cost of treatment was taken into account.

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