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Deafness

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Deafness Definition

Definition

Deafness means a lack or loss of the sense of hearing, which may be partial or complete. Partial loss of hearing is often called hearing loss rather than deafness. Deafness can occur in one or both ears.

There are three primary types of hearing loss:

  • Conductive—hearing loss caused by the inability of the sound to reach the inner ear. This can result from outer or middle ear problems, such as ear infection, excess wax, or swelling. This type of hearing loss is most likely to respond to medical or surgical treatment.
  • Sensorineural—hearing loss caused by disorders of the inner ear or auditory nerve. This type of loss is usually permanent. It can be caused by heredity or congenital problems, excess noise, old age, medications, infections such as ear infections and meningitis , or from tumors compressing the nerve of hearing such as an acoustic neuroma .
  • Mixed—hearing losses that are a combination of both conductive and sensorineural loss.

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