We are delighted to see that hearing loss has been given a priority in the latest guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The section entitled ‘Hearing Loss in Adults: assessment and management’ covers some aspects of managing hearing loss in primary, community and secondary care.
The guidelines offer advice to health-care staff on assessing hearing difficulties, managing ear wax and when to refer people for audiological or specialist assessment and management. They cover adults aged over 18 years of age and can be a useful source of information for people with hearing loss, their families and carers.
NICE include referral recommendations for when adults present with sudden onset or rapid worsening of hearing loss, in one or both ears, which is not explained by ear wax or middle ear causes. This can be a medical emergency should be investigated further.
We welcome the advice on clinical ear care (Wax removal) which highlights the importance of only using practitioners who have had training and are experts in this field. At Aston Hearing, our qualified specialist offer micro-suction as a safe, gentle method of wax removal which is endowed by NICE along with ear irrigation as an alternative. They highlight that ear syringing should not be used and patients should never try to manually remove wax by inserting any object into the ear canal. This can cause more lasting damage to the ear and hearing.
There is also information on follow up care and how to access additional help and hearing dives if appropriate.