Hearing Impairment

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  • Topic: Ear, Sensorineural hearing loss, Otology
  • Pages : 5 (1849 words )
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  • Published : November 4, 2009
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Melanie Elletson
EDU330 The Exceptional Learner
Hearing impairment paper
Due May 2, 2007

According to Rena Lewis and Donald Doorlag, authors of Teaching Special Students in General Education Classrooms, a hearing impairment is a disability characterized by a decrease in ability to hear (pg 425). A child with a hearing impairment has trouble hearing sounds in the range of normal human speech. There area three basic types of hearing impairments: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. Along with these impairments there are many different signs that as parents and teachers we can look for so that we can have accurate testing done. Once the impairment is identified we can decide what type of amplification device is best for the child. Finally there are several tips to help both teachers and parents. Having a hearing impairment is exactly that an impairment, it is not something that will prevent anyone from having a normal life.

A child can have one of three basic types of hearing impairments: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss. If a child does have a hearing impairment they most likely have sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss or SNHL accounts for about 90% of all hearing loss which is about 8% of our population. Conductive hearing loss is the second most common form of hearing loss, it affects only about 0.8% of the population. Finally the third and most rare type of hearing impairment is mixed hearing loss. The third and moat rare type of hearing impairment is mixed hearing loss, which is when a person has both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association considers sensorineural hearing loss damage to the inner ear or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss not only involves a reduction in sound level, or ability to hear faint sounds, but also affects speech understanding, or ability to hear clearly. This type of hearing impairment can be caused by disease, a birth injury, drugs use while pregnant, or it can be genetically passed on. Sensorineural hearing loss has also been known to occur as a result of working around loud noises (rock stars, construction workers), viruses, head trauma, aging, and tumors. Unfortunately sensorineural hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected, it is a permanent hearing impairment. Conductive hearing loss is when sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones of the middle ear (The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association). When a person has a conductive hearing impairment they never totally loose all their hearing, but it does cause a loss of volume. Although many sounds may become to quiet to be heard, those that are heard sound clear and are not distorted. A person with this type of hearing loss can often have it corrected surgically or with a medical treatment. There area many causes for this type of hearing impairment: fluid in the middle ear from a cold, impacted earwax, an infection in the ear canal, or even the presence of a foreign body (paper, cotton). If this is a condition that a child is continuously getting it could cause the child to have serious learning difficulties and perform poorly in school. Repeated ear infections may also cause a child’s hearing loss advance itself to sensorineural hearing loss, which means that there has been damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear or auditory nerve.

Signs of a hearing impairment are very important to watch for especially in young children because the longer impairment goes unnoticed the worse off it is for the child. The Department of Health and Human Services list a few of the sings we should look for in children: child does not turn toward source of a sound by three to four months of age, pays attention to vibration noises or noises that can be felt, rather...
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