What are the Different Types of Auditory Disorder?

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  • Written By: Daniel Liden
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2019
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Auditory disorder is a broad term that describes problems with hearing and properly comprehending auditory information, or sound. An individual can be born with an auditory disorder or he can acquire one from some form of accident, such as head trauma or exposure to extremely loud noise. Sometimes disorders can develop naturally as a result of aging. Auditory disorders can come in many different forms; some are related to one or more of the parts of the ear itself and others are related to the brain and auditory nerves. Auditory problems are typically detected through various auditory screening procedures and can sometimes be treated through therapy or through the use of hearing aids.

A particular variety of auditory disorder will typically fall into one of a variety of different categories. A conductive auditory disorder, or conductive hearing loss, is a problem with the inner or middle ear that is usually caused by a blockage of some form. A buildup of wax, for example, can lead to conductive hearing loss. In some cases, bones in the ear stiffen and lead to conductive hearing loss.


A sensorineural auditory disorder, on the other hand, is related to problems with the inner ear or with the auditory nerves, which carry sound information from the ear to the brain. This kind of hearing problem is much more likely to be permanent. Unlike conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss generally affects some sound frequencies more than others. This often can not be corrected by hearing aids.

A central auditory disorder is a disorder in which there are problems with the nerves between the inner ear and the brain. Sometimes, the problem is with the brain itself. These kinds of auditory disorders tend to be very difficult to treat or even to properly diagnose.

In some cases, an individual will present several different types of auditory disorders. In this case, he is said to have a mixed auditory disorder or mixed hearing loss. This can also be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms of some of the other kinds of auditory disorders tend to overlap somewhat.

An auditory disorder can have many different symptoms not limited to simple difficulty in hearing. Sometimes, difficulty remembering conversations or understanding words can indicate the presence of some form of hearing disorder. Difficulty in conversation or poor academic performance can also indicate the presence of one or more auditory disorders.


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