March 29, 2021, by Adele Horobin

Hearing aids versus a cochlear implant – which is better for adults with severe hearing loss? 

Well, for adults who have hearing loss equal to or greater than 80dB, NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) advise that a cochlear implant is better.  But what about adults who just miss out on this cut-off point? People with hearing loss between 70dB and 80dB? Well, the evidence isn’t clear – there exists a ‘grey area’ where we are not sure if hearing aids or a cochlear implant is the best choice.

Diagram showing the grey area, where people with severe hearing loss greater than 70decibels may possibly benefit from a cochlear implant but are not offered one as the evidence isn't clear about the benefits. Here in Nottingham, we want to find out which is better. Researchers from the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the University of Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit are working with audiologists, surgeons and members of the public with severe hearing loss to design and deliver the national COACH trial – a randomised controlled trial comparing hearing aids to a cochlear implant 

We need your help! 

Speech bubbles - sharing your viewsWe will be recruiting for this trial later this year, but in the meantime, we need your perspectives about cochlear implantation and the trial design by completing a short survey. Please go to: This will help us refine the trial design and participant information. Thank you. 

Also, we need to establish a Trial Steering Committee to oversee the trial. We have two places on the committee for members of the public with personal experience of deafness. To find out more and apply for a position, please see 

The survey and the committee applications are both open until 16 April 2021. Thank you! 

Keep in touch 

Graphic cartoon showing newsletters being received into a post boxWant to keep in touch with developments, including when we start recruiting participants? Please join our mailing list at: to receive updates. Thank you. 

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Posted in Cochlear implantsProfound hearing loss/deafness