Auditory neuropathy (AN) is when the nerve system of the inner ear doesn’t process sounds coming from the outer ear.
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The outer ear sends vibrations to the inner ear. There, hair cells break them into electrical signals. These are sent to the brain. It filters them as sound.
AN may be due to one or more of these causes:
You may have a higher risk if you also have:
AN may cause:
The level of hearing loss can vary.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history.
You may have:
Treating AN involves:
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. You may:
In many cases, the cause of AN is unknown.
These steps may help:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Ontario Association for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada
Auditory neuropathy. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders website. Available at: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/auditory-neuropathy. Updated September 2016. Accessed June 19, 2018.
Causes of hearing loss. My Baby’s Hearing website. Available at: http://www.babyhearing.org/HearingAmplification/Causes/Neuropathy.asp. Accessed June 19, 2018.
Cochlear implants. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1330. Accessed June 19, 2018.
Ototoxic medications (medication effects). American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Ototoxic-Medications. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Ototoxicity. Vestibular Disorders Association website. Available at: http://vestibular.org/ototoxicity. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 6/19/2018