A hearing impairment can be either conductive or sensorineural. Some children have a combination of both conductive and sensorineural:
A conductive hearing loss occurs when the middle ear is unable to fully transmit the sound vibration through this area and onto the cochlea of the inner ear. The most common conductive hearing loss within children is glue ear (otitis media with effusion).
A sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear is unable to fully transmit the sound vibrations received, into electrical impulses within the cochlea, and interpreted by the auditory areas of the brain.
There are a wide variety of hearing conditions which can lead to hearing loss. Hearing losses range from mild to profound. Many pupils are fitted with hearing aids which increase the levels of sound that a pupil can hear. These aids include digital hearing aids, bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and cochlear implants (CI). A hearing aid, while providing increased access to sound, does not fully replace all sounds lost through the hearing impairment. It is therefore vital that a pupil, with any level of hearing loss, receives the correct support within school.