Auditory neuropathy (AN) is when the nerve system of the inner ear does not 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 1 or more of these causes:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems vary from person to person. They may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
These tests may be done:
The goal of treatment is to:
Treatment options are:
There are no known guidelines to prevent AN.
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. Accessed October 5, 2020.
Cochlear implants. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/?q=node/1330. Accessed October 5, 2020.
Ototoxic medications (medication effects). American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Ototoxic-Medications. Accessed October 5, 2020.
Ototoxicity. Vestibular Disorders Association website. Available at: http://vestibular.org/ototoxicity. Accessed October 5, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 5/21/2021