Understanding the Types of Hearing Loss: Cortical Deafness

 

Having a good understanding of different hearing losses can empower sufferers to make informed choices about the best next steps. This is why we aim to offer information about each hearing loss type to help you make the right choices, as well as save time and money. Today, we are taking a deeper look into a lesser common form of hearing loss: cortical deafness.

What is Cortical Deafness?

Cortical deafness, also called central hearing loss, is a form of sensorineural hearing loss. This hearing loss type is caused by damage to an area in the inner ear called the primary auditory cortex. This part of the ear performs crucial functions in the listening process and is where auditory information is processed.

Most often, cortical deafness is caused by a bilateral cortical lesion in the primary auditory cortex. The primary auditory cortex is located inside the brain's temporal lobes. In most cases, a bilateral embolic stroke, which has affected a specific area of the Heschl's gyri, is the cause of the damage. It should be noted that cortical deafness is very rare, with only twelve reported cases.

The Level of Hearing in Cortical Deafness

As an auditory disorder, cortical deafness causes the patient difficulty in hearing all types of sound. Likewise, low to high frequency sounds are incomprehensible or difficult for the patient to perceive. Interestingly, cortical deafness can be difficult to diagnose, as no apparent damage occurs in the ear. 

For comparison, conductive hearing loss is often thought of as auditory agnosia, a condition categorized by the sufferer's inability to differentiate between different sounds and noises. In contrast to conductive hearing loss, cortical deafness is not caused by the inability of sound to travel through the ear, but the inability to process and make good use of this information. 

Treatments and Coping with Cortical Deafness

Sometimes, it is possible for a patient to have some, or a small part, of their hearing restored. However, a majority of the time, merely coping strategies are advised. As this type of hearing loss is extremely rare, it's important to discuss your case with a specialist doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you what you specifically need from a hearing aid, and whether there are any other treatments available.

At Advanced Affordable Hearing, we help people hear better at a price they can afford. Our hearing aids are pre-programmed to the most common types of hearing loss, and do not require a trip to the audiologist.

To start your journey to improved hearing, contact us now.  


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