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General Information about Hearing Losses


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The Human Ear:

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The human ear is composed of three components.

  •  The first component:  is the “outer” portion which acts as an acoustic chamber that funnels sounds from the environment. The outer ear begins at the pinna (the part that holds your glasses) and extends through the ear canal to the eardrum, or tympanic
  • The second component:    is the “middle” portion which continues this propagation of sound energy in a mechanical fashion by changing the movements of the eardrum into vibrations of a chain of small bones.
  • The third component: is the “inner” portion which receives the subtle vibrations and transforms them into electrical impulses which travel along the auditory nerve and into the brain. The “outer” and “middle” portions conduct sound to the nerve, or “inner” ear.


There are several types of hearing loss.

  • A sensorineural hearing loss: is due to a problem in the inner ear (known as the cochlea) or in the nerve of   hearing.
  • A conductive hearing loss: indicates a problem with either the ear canal, eardrum or the three small bones of hearing. This type of loss is often improved with surgery.
  • A mixed hearing loss:   is a combination of a sensorineural and a conductive loss.
  • A unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss:   can also be a significant disability and can have a profound affect on a student's education.


Johnson County Special Services
500 Earlywood Dr.
Franklin, IN 46313

General Office: 736-8495
Voice Mail:  738-5924
Pager: 424-0400