What Is Auditory Neuropathy?

Are you able to hear soft noises, but have trouble understanding voices, especially in crowded rooms? Auditory neuropathy is a form of hearing loss where your ear detects sounds and frequencies, but the signals from the ear to the brain aren’t quite what they should be. 

When you have auditory neuropathy there’s a discrepancy between your hearing test results and your ability to discern speech. We can pick this up in your hearing test by conducting auditory brainstem response testing and otoacoustic emissions testing. 

Some patients with auditory neuropathy complain that sounds “come in and out” or seem out of sync.

What Can Cause Auditory Nerve Damage?

There are many possible causes of auditory neuropathy from genetic mutation to damage to the inner hair cells or the neurons themselves. Sometimes there isn’t a single cause, but a combination of factors. Damage may occur in the womb or can happen at any age as part of age-related hearing loss. Auditory neuropathy has also been linked to neurological disorders and complications at birth.

If you have family members with auditory neuropathy, you may be at a higher risk.

How Is Auditory Neuropathy Treated?

Depending on what your tests reveal, we may recommend a hearing aid, a cochlear hearing aid, or another treatment. The first step is to get a complete evaluation.

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