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 A severe to profound hearing loss that develops later in life.

A graph obtained during a hearing test that illustrates a person’s hearing for each ear, indicating the degree and type of hearing loss. It shows the amount of hearing loss (in decibels or dB) at different frequencies.

A professional who treats individuals with a hearing impairment.

A science that studies hearing; the profession is concerned with assessment and rehabilitation of auditory and communication problems.

A series of tests administered by an audiologist that assess hearing and middle ear function.

Relating to hearing.

An objective test used to check the function of auditory pathways by measuring the brain’s electrical response to sounds. ABR assessments are commonly used in newborn hearing screenings because the child does not need to react to sound signals.

Hearing nerve; the auditory nerve carries impulses from the inner ear to the brain.

Hearing loss affecting both ears.

The snail-shaped part of the inner ear that changes sound vibrations to nerve impulses.

A hearing loss that is present from birth.

The loudness of a sound is measured in units called decibel (dB).

The tube running from the outer ear to the eardrum that directs sound into the ear.

Also called the tympanic membrane; the eardrum is situated between the outer and the middle ear and changes sound waves into mechanical vibrations.

The pitch of a sound is measured in frequency. Frequency is denoted in Hertz (Hz).

The hair-like structures in the inner ear that convert the mechanical energy of sound waves into nerve impulses.

The softest sound that a person can hear at a specific frequency. Hearing thresholds are displayed on an audiogram to show an individual's hearing loss.

The part of the ear that contains the hearing organ (cochlea) and the balance (vestibular) system. The cochlea contains fluid and highly sensitive cells (hair cells) that move with sound vibrations.

The ability to determine where a sound comes from.

The middle part of the ear that includes the eardrum and three tiny bones (ossicles). The middle ear transfers sound vibrations to the inner ear.

The chain of three tiny bones in the middle ear: hammer (malleus), anvil (incus) and stirrup (stapes). They transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the cochlea.

A physician who specializes in the treatment of ear problems.

The branch of medicine dealing with the ear.

The part of the ear that is normally visible is called the pinna. It collects sound waves and directs them into the ear canal.

Deafness that occurs after language acquisition.

Deafness that occurs at birth or early in childhood, before language acquisition.

Specialized training for people with hearing loss to help them learn to speak and understand language through listening. For children who could never hear or speak, this is sometimes called habilitation.

The amount of remaining measurable, usable hearing. Most individuals with hearing loss have some degree of residual hearing.

The range of frequencies most important for hearing and understanding speech, within about 500 to 4000 hertz (Hz).

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