This is a glossary of medical terms related to communications disorders such as blindness and deafness.
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Acoustic neuroma - tumor, usually benign, which may develop on the hearing and balance nerves and can cause gradual hearing loss, tinnitus, and/or dizziness. (sometimes called vestibular schwannoma). Also see Neurofibromatosis Type 2.
Acquired deafness - loss of hearing that occurs or develops some time during the lifespan but is not present at birth.
Ageusia - loss of the sense of taste.
Albinism - lack of normal pigment in the skin, eyes, and hair.
Alport syndrome - hereditary condition characterized by kidney disease, sensorineural hearing loss, and sometimes eye defects.
American Sign Language (ASL) - manual language with its own syntax and grammar, used primarily by people who are deaf.
Amplitude- Magnitude of particle displacement disrupted by sound wave.
Anosmia - absence of the sense of smell.
Aphasia - total or partial loss of the ability to use or understand language; usually caused by stroke, brain disease, or injury.
Aphonia - complete loss of voice.
Apraxia - inability to execute a voluntary movement despite being able to demonstrate normal muscle function.
Articulation disorder - inability to correctly produce speech sounds (phonemes) because of imprecise placement, timing, pressure, speed, or flow of movement of the lips, tongue, or throat.
Assistive devices - technical tools and devices such as alphabet boards, text telephones, or text-to-speech conversion software used to aid individuals who have communication disorders perform actions, tasks, and activities.
Audiologist - health care professional who is trained to evaluate hearing loss and related disorders, including balance (vestibular) disorders and tinnitus, and to rehabilitate individuals with hearing loss and related disorders. An audiologist uses a variety of tests and procedures to assess hearing and balance function and to fit and dispense hearing aids and other assistive devices for hearing.
Auditory Brainstem Response test (ABR test) - a test for brain functioning in comatose, unresponsive, etc., patients, and for hearing in infants and young children; involves attaching electrodes to the head to record electrical activity from the hearing nerve and other parts of the brain.
Auditory nerve - eighth cranial nerve that connects the inner ear to the brainstem and is responsible for hearing and balance.
Auditory perception - ability to identify, interpret, and attach meaning to sound.
Auditory prosthesis - device that substitutes or enhances the ability to hear.
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