High-Quality, Low-Cost Hearing Aids

  • Jerry Punch


At least one-tenth of the world’s population has significant hearing impairment. The vast majority of cases of hearing impairment are caused by disorders of the inner ear, a condition referred to as sensorineural hearing loss. This common form of hearing loss is typically the result of inner-ear damage or degeneration, is usually not resolved through medical treatment, and is usually permanent in nature. Although sensorineural hearing loss accompanying aging, or presbycusis, is primarily responsible for the high prevalence of hearing impairment, it may also be caused by other factors. For example, it may be genetic, appearing at birth or later in life, or it may be caused by a variety of other factors, including birth trauma, traumatic injury after birth, intake of dangerous chemicals or drugs, or overexposure to loud noise. The impact of sensorineural hearing loss can be devastating. In fact, it has been linked to a variety of physical and psychosocial dysfunctions, including isolation, dependency, hypertension and stress, depression, and a greater prevalence of illness in general. In children, it can result in delayed language and speech development, as well as poor progress in school.


Hearing Loss Hearing Impairment Sensorineural Hearing Loss Dangerous Chemical Unilateral Hearing Loss 
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  1. 1.
    Punch, JL (2003). A universal hearing aid: recommended technologic and functional features. Iranian Audiology 2 (1): 24–31.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry Punch
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Audiology and Speech SciencesMichigan State UniversityUSA

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