Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss conditions can be caused by a variety of medical conditions and disorders which can affect hearing and/or the ability to understanding speech.

The most common causes of hearing loss are:

• Congenital hearing loss (present at birth or soon after birth)

• Jaundice or lack of oxygen at birth

• Genetic (inherited) disorder

• Middle-ear infections

• Illnesses such as Mumps, Rubella (German Measles), Meningitis or Meniere’s Disease.

• Ageing

• Major infections

• Exposure to loud noise

• A head injury or trauma and

• Exposure to certain chemicals and/or medications that damage the ears

Most hearing losses are sensorineural and therefore cannot be reversed. Various rehabilitation options are available to help overcome some of the problems caused by hearing loss. A minority of hearing losses (mostly conductive) can be surgically improved.

LISTENING DISORDERS

• CENTRAL AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER

Central Auditory Processing Disorder is an umbrella term for a variety of disorders that result in a breakdown in hearing and listening processes. This is a complex problem affecting about 3% – 5% of school-aged children. Something adversely affects the way the brain recognises and interprets sounds, most notably the sounds composing speech. Remediation options include auditory training programs, management strategies and assistive technologies for use in the classroom.