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Clinical Summary

Hearing Loss in Older Adults: Screening

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinical Summary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

Population

Asymptomatic adults aged 50 years or older

 
Recommendation No recommendation.
Grade: I (Insufficient Evidence)
Risk Assessment Increasing age is the most important risk factor for hearing loss. Other risk factors include a history of exposure to loud noises or ototoxic agents, including occupational exposures, previous recurrent inner ear infections, genetic factors, and certain systemic diseases, such as diabetes.
Screening Tests Various screening tests are used in primary care settings to detect hearing loss in adults, including:
  • Whispered voice test
  • Finger rub test
  • Watch tick test
  • Single-item screening (for example, asking "Do you have difficulty with your hearing?")
  • Multiple-item patient questionnaire (for example, Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly–Screening Version)
  • Handheld audiometer
Interventions Hearing aids can improve self-reported hearing, communication, and social functioning for some adults with age-related hearing loss.
Balance of Harms and Benefits There is inadequate evidence to determine the balance of benefits and harms of screening for hearing loss in adults aged 50 years or older.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making these recommendations, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/.

Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Current as of: August 2012

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Hearing Loss in Older Adults: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. February 2014.
https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/ClinicalSummaryFinal/hearing-loss-in-older-adults-screening

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