Degrees of hearing loss.
- Mild -- A child hears some speech.
- Moderate -- A child hears almost no speech.
- Severe -- A child hears no speech at a normal level.
- Profound -- A child hears no speech at any level.
Each child is unique and so is a child's hearing loss. To help you understand the possible hearing solutions for your child, you should know how the ear works and how hearing loss is diagnosed with degrees and types of hearing loss. Your child's hearing loss doesn't have to get in the way of the ability to learn and live like other children.
Sound enters through our ears but is processed and understood by the brain. Children with hearing loss have the same listening potential as children born with normal hearing. If they are given access to sound via technology and sufficient spoken language exposure, their brains can learn to listen too.
The ears capture sound and provide the natural pathway for that sound to be transmitted to the hearing nerve where it is translated by the brain. It’s an amazing process. When all parts of the ear are healthy, here's how the process for hearing works:
Understanding hearing milestones for children with normal hearing can be important for your child's hearing experience.
Request a free resource guide to learn about hearing and speech milestones and more.
Knowing if your child has hearing loss can be difficult, especially in infancy. Here are some typical signs:
Approximately two to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States may be born with hearing loss in one or both ears.1 These fall into four categories:
This hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve pathway. This type of loss is permanent and can be caused by genetics, aging, disease, noise exposure or certain medications.
Sensorineural hearing loss can occur in one or both ears. If the loss is in one ear, it is often referred to as unilateral hearing loss or single-sided deafness. This is when there is little or no hearing in one ear, but normal hearing in the other ear.
Sound cannot travel through the outer or middle ear because of malformation or other factors. This condition can be treatable depending on the cause.
Refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means there may be damage in both the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear.
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