Auditory Neuropathy

(AN; Auditory Dyssynchrony; Auditory Synaptopathy; Neuropathy, Auditory; Auditory Processing Disorder)

Definition

Auditory neuropathy (AN) occurs when the nerve system of the inner ear fails to process sounds coming from the outer ear.
The Ear
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Causes

The outer ear sends vibrations to the inner ear during the hearing process. Hair cells in the inner ear break down the vibrations into electrical signals. These are sent to the brain. The brain filters them as sound. There is debate about the exact cause of AN. It may be due to:
  • Damage to the hair cells in the inner ear
  • Bad connections between the hair cells in the inner ear and the nerve to the brain
  • Damaged nerve
  • A combination of these problems

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of AN include:

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