partial or total loss of hearing in one or both ears. Conductive deafness is due to a defect in the conduction of sound from the external ear to the inner ear. This may be due to perforations of the eardrum, fluid or infection in the middle ear (see glue ear, otitis (media)), or disorders of the small bones in the middle ear (ossicles). Sensorineural (or perceptive) deafness may be due to a lesion of the cochlea in the inner ear, the cochlear nerve, or the auditory centres in the brain. It may be present from birth (for example if the mother was affected with German measles during pregnancy). In adults it may be brought on by injury, disease (e.g. Ménière's disease), or prolonged exposure to loud noise; progressive sensorineural deafness (presbyacusis) is common with advancing age.
The type of deafness can be diagnosed by various hearing tests (see Rinne's test, Weber's test, audiogram), and the treatment depends on the cause.

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  • Deafness — Deaf ness, n. 1. Incapacity of perceiving sounds; the state of the organs which prevents the impression which constitute hearing; want of the sense of hearing. [1913 Webster] 2. Unwillingness to hear; voluntary rejection of what is addressed to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deafness — late 14c., from DEAF (Cf. deaf) + NESS (Cf. ness) …   Etymology dictionary

  • deafness — See deafly. * * * Partial or total inability to hear. In conduction deafness, the passage of sound vibrations through the ear is interrupted. The obstacle may be earwax, a ruptured eardrum, or stapes fixation, which prevents the stapes bone from… …   Universalium

  • Deafness — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Deafness >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 deafness deafness hardness of hearing surdity| Sgm: N 1 inaudibility inaudibility inaudibleness PARAG:Deafness >V GRP: V 1 Sgm: V 1 be deaf be deaf &c. >Adj …   English dictionary for students

  • deafness — General term for inability to hear. central d. d. due to disorder of the auditory system of the brainstem or cerebral cortex. cortical d. d. resulting from bilateral lesions of the primary receptive …   Medical dictionary

  • deafness — n. acquired; congenital deafness * * * [ defnɪs] congenital deafness acquired …   Combinatory dictionary

  • deafness — (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Lack of ability to hear Nouns 1. deafness, hardness of hearing, hearing impairment, hearing loss, loss of hearing, surdity; deaf mutism. 2. (communication with deaf) lip reading, deaf and dumb alphabet,… …   English dictionary for students

  • deafness — deaf ► ADJECTIVE 1) without the faculty of hearing or having impaired hearing. 2) (deaf to) unwilling to listen or respond to. ● fall on deaf ears Cf. ↑fall on deaf ears ● turn a deaf ear Cf. ↑tu …   English terms dictionary

  • deafness — noun partial or complete loss of hearing • Syn: ↑hearing loss • Derivationally related forms: ↑deaf • Hypernyms: ↑hearing impairment, ↑hearing disorder • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Deafness Research UK — (The Hearing Research Trust) is the leading national British medical research charity working in the field of deafness. Its main activities are medical research and education. It was founded as Defeating Deafness in 1985 by the British Member of… …   Wikipedia

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