Hearing Loss

There is hope if your child has hearing loss

A parent can feel confused and isolated by the diagnosis of hearing loss. This is a common position to be in and its important to know that four in every 1000 children born in India suffer from severe to profound hearing loss essentially meaning over 100,000 babies are born with hearing insufficiency each year.1

It is extremely important to test your child’s hearing and consult an expert in case you suspect your child has hearing loss.

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How Hearing Works

The sound waves enter through the ear canal to the ear drum causing it to vibrate. This sets the osicles in the middle ear to move. When these sound vibrations reach the hair cells in cochlea, they convert into electric nerve impulses. The cochlear nerve transfers these electric nerve impulses to the brain, where they are perceived as sound.

Hearing Loss

What does it mean to have a hearing loss? It could mean not hearing the doorbell ring or your spouse calling you from another room.

For those who have loss of hearing, it could mean missing key information in a business meeting or in a classroom.

For those who have no hearing at all, it could mean missing out on the key element of human interaction-communication.

Hearing loss can interfere with the quality of life: restricting your ability to interact with others, causing misunderstandings, heightening stress, and filtering out the wide range of sound experiences that give pleasure and meaning to life.

Hearing loss occurs when a person’s ability to hear is decreased and the auditory system does not work normally.

Types of hearing loss

It is critical for a parent and an adult to know different types of hearing loss to explore all treatment options. The kind of ear loss would depend on which part of your hearing is impaired. There are three different types of hearing loss

  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss
  • Conductive Hearing Loss
  • Mixed Hearing Loss

A Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when the inner ear or the auditory nerve has a problem in functioning and delivering sounds to the brain. Either damaged small hair-like cells of the inner ear or the auditory nerve weakens the smooth transference of nerve signals to the brain.4 It is an extremely common type of hearing loss that also is permanent. The sensorineural hearing loss could be genetic, congenital idiopathic, or resulting from several medical conditions.

Common causes of this type of hearing loss are:1

  • Illnesses
  • Aging
  • Head injury
  • Problem in the formation of the inner ear
  • Meningitis
  • Mal formation of cochlea
  • Inner hair cell dysfunction
  • Ototoxicity

A conductive hearing loss can happen when sounds do not get through the outer and middle ear. It becomes challenging to hear soft sounds whereas louder sounds can be obstructed. Excessive ear wax, ear infections, a penetrated eardrum, a built-up fluid, or an unusual bone growth in the middle ear can cause conductive hearing loss.2

Often, medicine or a surgery can cure this kind of hearing loss.3 An audiologist must be consulted for accurate professional advice and treatment options.

In this type, there is both a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss. This happens when there is damage in the middle or the outer ear and in the inner ear or the auditory nerve pathway.

Degree of Hearing Loss 6


  • Varshney, S. (2016). Deafness in India. Indian Journal of Otology, 22(2), 73. 1
  • Types of Hearing Loss | CDC. (2020, May 27). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Conductive Hearing Loss.
  • Types of hearing impairment. (2019, September 26). University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.-b). Sensorineural Hearing Loss. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
  • Deafness and hearing loss. (2019, September 18). World Health Organization.
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