Hearing Impairments

Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear; it may be mild, moderate, severe, or profound and can affect one ear or both ears.  It leads to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or loud sounds.  People who are hard of hearing usually communicate through spoken language and can benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices as well as captioning.

Common types of Hearing Impairments include:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss (caused by something that stops sounds from getting through the outer or middle ear. This type of hearing loss can often be treated with medicine or surgery)
  • Sensor neural Hearing Loss (occurs when there is a problem in the way the inner ear or hearing nerve works)
  • Mixed Hearing Loss (includes both a conductive and a sensor neural hearing loss)
  • Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (occurs when sound enters the ear normally, but because of damage to the inner ear or the hearing nerve, sound isn’t organized in a way that the brain can understand)