Types of Hearing Loss

  • Once a child has been identified as being deaf or hard of hearing, an audiologist, doctor, or deaf and hard of hearing Parent Advisor will talk with the family about the child’s type and level of hearing the child has. Let’s look at an overview of what this means:

    Conductive Hearing Loss

    Boy reading Twinkle Twinkle Little Star bookThis means that sound is not moving through the outer and middle ear well. This can be from an ear infection and fluid in the middle ear, a small object pushed into the ear canal, or it can be a birth related problem.

    Most conductive hearing losses can be improved or corrected through medical help.

    Learn more about Conductive Hearing Loss

    Sensorineural Hearing Loss

    The means that there is damage to the nerves in the inner ear. This kind of hearing loss can happen for many reasons including illness, heredity, injury, or growth problems with the inner ear. This kind of hearing loss cannot be corrected.

    Learn more about Sensorineural Hearing Loss

    Mixed Hearing Loss

    This means that your child has both a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss. This will make your child’s hearing level lower than it usually is. When the conductive part of the hearing loss is better, then the hearing level will return to what it usually is.

    Learn more about Mixed Hearing LossA young girl with Auditory Brainstem Implant.

    Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder

    The means that the sound goes through the ear normally, but the brain doesn’t receive the sound normally. Because this is an issue between the auditory nerve, brainstem, and brain, the child’s hearing will change. Some days the child will hear better than other days. ANSD can happen to a child with normal hearing. It can also happen to a child with a sensorineural hearing loss.

    Learn more about Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder