What is Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder?
The medical term, "neuropathy" has to do with your nerves. Neuropathy is used for any and all diseases and malfunctions of your nerves.
For example, peripheral neuropathy is a condition that involves damage to your peripheral nervous system. Your peripheral nervous system is all of the nerves in your body that are not a part of your spinal cord and brain, which make up your central nervous system.
Your peripheral nervous system is a vast communications network. It transmits information from your central nervous system to every other area of your body.
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) is a hearing disorder that is evidenced by sound entering your inner ear normally. However, the transmission of signals from your inner ear to your brain does not work like it should.
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder is a variety of hearing loss in which your outer hair cells that are located inside of your cochlea are in place and working. The sound information, however, is not faithfully transmitted correctly to your brain and auditory nerve.
Other names for Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder is called by other names. It is also referred to as Auditory Neuropathy/Auditory Dys-synchrony (AN/AD) or Auditory Neuropathy.
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder is a condition that can develop in anyone at any age. The number of people with this disorder is not known. The thing that is known is that a relatively small percentage of people who are deaf or hearing-impaired have auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder.
Causes for Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum
Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder is an ailment that is not fully understood at this time. Research scientists think that auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder may have more than one possible cause. Possible causes for this disorder are:
- Some type of damage to the nerve that travels from your inner ear to your brain
- Some form of damage to your inner hair cells (these are specialized sensory cells in your inner ear that transmit information sounds through your nervous system to your brain)
- Faulty connections between your inner hair cells and the nerve that goes from your inner ear to your brain.
Risk Factors associated with ANSD
There are some possible risk factors that may increase your risk of developing auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Some of these include:
- Congenital (present at birth) brain abnormalities
- Genetics or a family history of this disorder
- An extremely premature birth (28 weeks)
- A neonatal history of anoxia
- A neonatal history of hypoxia, mechanical ventilation, or both
- Low birth weight
- A neonatal history of hyperbilirubinemia.
Signs you may have auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder
There are signs and symptoms that may be an indication of auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Some of these are:
- Your speech-perception abilities being poor (you have difficulty understanding speech correctly)
- Hearing sounds, but you have problems recognizing what the spoken words are
- Experiencing anywhere from a mild to a severe hearing loss
- The sounds that you hear fade in and out, and they seem to be out of sync
- Your speech perception being worse that your degree of hearing loss would indicate that it would be
- Having normal hearing, but you have trouble understanding what you are hearing.
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