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Pediatric Hearing Loss

   

Children can be affected by varying types and degrees of hearing loss. A hearing loss, whether temporary or permanent, can affect a child’s ability to develop speech and language skills as well as affect their ability to learn to read if left untreated.

Types of Hearing Loss

 

Conductive Hearing Loss

This type of loss is due to an outer ear or a middle ear problem. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss include: ear wax, a hole or perforation of the eardrum, fluid behind the ear drum, a middle ear cyst (cholesteatoma), and otosclerosis.

Sensorineural or "nerve" hearing loss

This type of loss is due to an inner ear or hearing nerve problem. Sensorineural or "nerve" hearing loss is most commonly treated with a hearing aid.

In persons who are severely or profoundly hearing impaired in both ears, a cochlear implant is a possible treatment option. A cochlear implant is an electronic device surgically implanted into the inner ear. It bypasses damaged parts of the inner ear and electronically stimulates the hearing nerve.

For persons with deafness in one ear (single-sided deafness), a BAHA (a semi-implantable hearing device) is a treatment option.

Auditory neuropathy/auditory dyssynchrony

Auditory neuropathy/dyssynchrony is a condition in which the inner ear (cochlea) is working properly, but the hearing (auditory) nerve that carries the hearing signal to the brain is not. The condition is called auditory neuropathy/auditory dyssynchrony because the auditory nerve is not working properly (neuropathy) and the signal sent to the brain is not in sync (hence the term, dyssynchrony) with the electrical signal generated by the normally functioning cochlea. The amount of dyssynchrony can vary from person to person and can fluctuate in an individual over time.

 

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