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(HealthDay News) — In a clinical practice guideline issued by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation and published online April 30 in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, recommendations are presented for the management of age-related hearing loss (ARHL).

Betty S. Tsai Do, MD, from the Permanente Medical Group in Walnut Creek, CA, and colleagues developed recommendations to provide guidance regarding the identification, education and management of ARHL.

The authors developed 11 key action statements, which included strong recommendations for referral to a clinician who can obtain an audiogram in cases where screening suggests hearing loss; offer or referral to a clinician who can offer appropriately fitted amplification; and evaluation for cochlear implantation candidacy when patients have appropriately fit amplification and persistent hearing difficulty, with poor understanding of speech. Recommendations were made for screening for hearing loss at the time of a healthcare encounter for adults aged 50 years and older; examination of the ear canal and tympanic membrane with otoscopy or referral for examination if screening suggests hearing loss; and identification of sociodemographic factors and patient preferences that influence access to and utilization of hearing healthcare if screening suggests hearing loss.

“I am excited to see a key action statement focusing on social determinants of health and how it impacts access and patient preferences on the management of hearing healthcare,” Tsai Do said in a statement. “The focus of individualized healthcare is the future of medicine, and as such, it is important that this clinical practice guideline incorporated that into the recommendations.”

Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical, medical device and other industries.

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