• Press Release

New Guidelines Improve Care and Practice Standards for Adults With Hearing Loss

International consortium unveil recommendations on World Hearing Day

  • New York, NY
  • (March 03, 2023)

The Mount Sinai Health System joined an international task force of 52 hearing experts to develop guidelines and guidance to improve the standard of hearing care for adults. The new Living Guidelines, released today on World Hearing Day, detail best practices for treating and diagnosing hearing loss. One of the nine recommendations includes assessing adults for cochlear implants.

“The guidelines are a major step forward in ensuring that health care decisions are based on the best available evidence,” says Maura Cosetti, MD, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director of the Ear Institute of New York Eye and Ear of Mount Sinai, Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at the Mount Sinai Health System, and a member of the task force. “Before now, there were no international and patient-centred guidelines for hearing care and cochlear implants for adults in the United States and around the globe. The new codified recommendations are practice changing for accurately identifying hearing loss and those who would benefit from intervention and treatment. The Lancet journal has identified hearing loss as the No. 1 modifiable risk factor for cognitive decline—far exceeding things like smoking cessation and cardiovascular fitness. We know this will make a tremendous impact on patient care and in the lives of our patients.”

According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living with hearing loss is set to reach 2.5 billion by 2050.  Hearing loss has been linked to decreased quality of life, cognitive decline, and depression, and a growing body of evidence suggests an association between hearing loss in older adults and neurocognitive disorders, such as dementia. Additionally, a person’s hearing loss can also have an impact on those close to them, including family and friends.

In New York, most adults do not have their hearing assessed as part of regular health check-ups. When patients do have hearing tests—which measure hearing loss in decibels—a level above 60 dB HL indicates severe hearing loss. However, among those who receive this result, few are referred to a hearing specialist to assess whether cochlear implants could be the most beneficial treatment option. Despite the potential benefits of cochlear implants, less than 1 in 10 eligible adults will receive one in their lifetime.

The new Living Guidelines make nine recommendations across hearing screening, specialist referral and evaluation, rehabilitation, and patient outcomes. The two-year research project looked at more than 13,000 peer-reviewed studies and involved a panel of 52 experts representing 58 organizations, including those living with hearing loss. The guidance and guidelines will be updated as new evidence is published.

“The message for adults is simple: know your hearing number, and know your options,” Dr. Cosetti says.

If you have hearing loss and would like to be evaluated by an hearing health expert, email einstitute@nyee.edu, call 212-979-4200 or visit https://www.nyee.edu/care/ent/ear-institute for more information.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.