Non-organic Hearing Loss (NOHL) is a type of hearing loss that is not caused by any physical damage to the auditory system. NOHL is also known as functional hearing loss, psychogenic hearing loss, or malingering.
What are the types of non-organic hearing loss?
There are two main types of NOHL:
- Malingering: This is when a person intentionally feigns hearing loss for personal gain, such as avoiding military service or getting disability benefits.
- Conversion disorder: This is a mental health condition in which a person experiences physical symptoms that are not caused by any physical illness. In the case of NOHL, the person may believe that they have hearing loss, even though there is no physical evidence of it.
What is a non-organic hearing loss in childhood?
NOHL is less common in children than in adults. However, it can occur in children who are experiencing emotional distress, such as bullying or abuse.
What test is used in non-organic hearing loss?
There are a number of tests that can be used to diagnose NOHL. These tests include:
- Pure-tone audiometry: This test measures the softest sounds that a person can hear at different frequencies.
- Speech audiometry: This test measures the softest sounds that a person can understand.
- Tympanometry: This test measures the movement of the eardrum and middle ear bones.
- Otoacoustic emissions: This test measures the sound waves that are produced by the hair cells in the inner ear.
What are the different types of organic hearing loss?
There are many different types of organic hearing loss, including:
- Conductive hearing loss: This type of hearing loss is caused by a problem in the outer or middle ear.
- Sensorineural hearing loss: This type of hearing loss is caused by a problem in the inner ear or auditory nerve.
- Mixed hearing loss: This type of hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Treatment for Non-organic Hearing Loss
The treatment for NOHL depends on the underlying cause. If the NOHL is caused by malingering, the person may need counseling or therapy to address the underlying reasons for their behavior. If the NOHL is caused by a mental health condition, such as conversion disorder, the person may need treatment for that condition.
NOHL is a complex condition that can be difficult to diagnose. However, there are a number of tests that can be used to rule out other types of hearing loss. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have NOHL, it is important to see an audiologist for evaluation.