Hearing loss is a common problem in newborns. Some cases are due to auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD), a problem in the transmission of sound from the ear's innermost part (the inner ear) to the brain.
The causes of ANSD are unknown, but children who are born prematurely or have a family history of the condition are at higher risk for it. Symptoms can develop at any age, but most kids with ANSD are born with it and diagnosed in the first months of life.
As ANSD becomes better understood, it is diagnosed more frequently and now accounts for about 10% to 15% of cases of hearing loss.
Fortunately, kids with ANSD can develop strong language and communication skills with the help of medical devices, therapy, and visual communication techniques. Proper diagnosis and early intervention are essential, so if you suspect that your child has any difficulty hearing, talk with your doctor as soon as possible.