Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Hard of Hearing Overview

Another name for Hard of Hearing is Deafness.

What is deafness?
A person with deafness has some form of hearing loss. Hearing loss usually begins with difficulty hearing high-frequency sounds, such as speech. There are two main types of deafness: conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is usually caused by a condition that interferes with conduction of sound waves into the ear. A good example is a ear that is plugged with wax. Those with sensorineural hearing loss have a problem with the acoustic nerve. A person with presbycusis has hearing loss that naturally occurs with aging. Most cases of hearing loss are due to aging.

What are the symptoms of deafness?
Symptoms of deafness depend on the underlying cause. Common symptoms of deafness include a progressive loss of hearing and difficulty discriminating between different sounds. Some will complain of difficulty understanding speech, especially in a noisy environment.

How does the doctor treat deafness?
The treatment for deafness depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for deafness may include ear wax removal, ear foreign body removal, hearing aid, and surgery.

Continue to Hard of Hearing Incidence

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Hard of Hearing References
  1. Copeland BJ, Pillsbury HC 3rd. Cochlear implantation for the treatment of deafness. Annu Rev Med. 2004;55:157-67. [14746514]
  2. Puig T, Municio A, Meda C. Universal neonatal hearing screening versus selective screening as part of the management of childhood deafness. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD003731. [15846679]
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