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Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock (CHad)
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Conditions

There are different degrees of hearing/hearing loss. It is important to know that even a 'mild' hearing loss is considered both communicatively and educationally significant for a child as it will impact language-learning.

Degrees of hearing/hearing loss include:

  • Normal
  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Moderate-severe
  • Severe
  • Profound

There are different types of hearing loss:

  • Sensorineural: involving the cochlea (inner ear) and/or VIII (auditory) nerve
  • Conductive: involving the outer and/or middle ear systems
  • Mixed: a combination of both sensorineural and conductive

Hearing loss has many causes. Some of the more common include:

  • Blockage in outer ear (for example, wax, foreign body)
  • Damaged eardrum or middle ear bones
  • Ear infections
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Genetic conditions/inheritance
  • Head injury (for example, skull fracture)
  • Infections
    • Congenital (for example, toxoplasmosis, rubella, CMV, herpes, syphilis)
    • Acquired (for example, influenza, meningitis, labyrinthitis, mumps, syphilis)
  • Medications that are ototoxic (toxic to the ear)
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