Glossary of Common Terms

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Hard of Hearing

Hearing loss severe enough to interfere with school or work. Hard-of-hearing people can typically process speech and language quite well with the help of an auditory device, such as a hearing aid.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Hearing Aid

Electronic device that brings amplified sound to the ear. A hearing aid usually consists of a microphone, amplifier, and receiver.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Hearing Disorder

Disruption in the normal hearing process that may occur in outer, middle, or inner ear, whereby sound waves are not converted to electrical signals and nerve impulses are not transmitted to the brain to be interpreted.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Hearing Impaired

Refers to persons with any degree of hearing loss, from mild to profound, including deaf and hard-of-hearing persons. This term is losing acceptance by persons who are deaf because of the term "impaired" which connotes negative meaning. The preferred term is "deaf and/or hard of hearing."
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is any degree of impairment of the ability to apprehend sound. Degrees of hearing loss can range from mild to profound. Normal hearing (0-25 dB): At this level, hearing is within normal limits. Mild hearing loss (26-40 dB): Mild hearing loss may cause inattention, difficulty suppressing background noise, and increased listening efforts. Patients with this degree of loss may not hear soft speech. Children may be fatigued after listening for long periods. Moderate hearing loss (41-55 dB): Moderate hearing loss may affect language development, syntax and articulation, interaction with peers, and self-esteem. Patients with this degree of loss have trouble hearing some conversational speech. Moderate-severe hearing loss (56-70 dB): Moderate-severe hearing loss may cause difficulty with speech and decreased speech intelligibility. Patients with this degree of loss do not hear most conversational-level speech. Severe hearing loss (71-90 dB): Severe hearing loss may affect voice quality. Profound hearing loss (>90 dB): With profound hearing loss (deafness), speech and language deteriorate.
Source: Medscape


Impedance (Immittance) Testing

Also called Impedance Audiometry, this testing measures the ability of the middle ear to conduct sound to the inner ear. This information can be useful to the otologist in determining whether a middle ear problem exists which requires medical treatment.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)

A written plan for special services for young children under the age of 3 years who have developmental delays. The plan is individualized to meet a child and his/her family's specific needs and must be reviewed at least every 6 months. The plan should address: * Child's strengths and needs, based on assessments, and the identification of services to meet these needs. *The family's resources and priorities and the supports and services necessary to enhance the capacity of the family to meet the developmental needs of their infant/toddler.
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Inner Ear

Part of the ear that contains both the organ of hearing (the cochlea) and the organ of balance (the labyrinth).
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Intensity

The loudness of a sound, measured in decibels (dB).
Source: Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing


Listening and Spoken Language (LSL)

Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) is a communication option for infants, toddlers, and young children with hearing loss and their families. This approach has evolved over many years and is preferred by parents who want their child to listen and talk in the primary language of the home.
Source: Oberkotter