Abstract and Keywords
The cochlea is a highly complex, tightly regulated sensory end-organ responsible for the conversion of environmental sound into a meaningful auditory neuronal response. Hearing loss can occur at any stage of the auditory pathway, from the ear canal to the auditory cortex. Although simple otoscopy can identify obvious pathology in the external and middle ear, the ability to determine the cause and nature of hearing loss is often limited by physical exam alone. Thus, subjective and objective measures of hearing have become paramount in the clinical evaluation of the cochlea. This article provides a basic foundation of how the clinician approaches the cochlea and the various pathologies that can affect it and lead to hearing loss. It addresses clinical hearing assessment. It also gives information about the clinical disorders of the cochlea, discussing the epidemiology and treatment for each type of disorder.
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