Types of hearing loss
There are three types of Hearing Loss: conductive, sensorineural and mixed.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss is what happens when sound waves can’t make their way to the inner—when they are blocked at the entrance to the ear canal or somewhere just beyond it.
Some of the causes are:
- Excessive earwax (cerumen) that has become impacted
- Damage to the eardrum or the ossicle bones behind it
- Fluid build-up in the middle ear from an ear infection or allergy.
- Infection that causes swelling in the ear canal
Conductive Hearing Loss tends to be very treatable with options that include, the careful removal of excess earwax, draining fluid from the middle ear, treating infections with antibiotics and even surgery to repair damage to the eardrum or ossicles (most eardrum perforations heal without surgery).
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss is the type of hearing loss that hearing aids are intended to help overcome. It results from inner ear damage that prevents the cochlea (an organ located deep inside the ear) from sending complete sound information to the brain.
Causes of such damage include:
Physical trauma to the head
- Exposure to intense volume, such as an explosion
- Long-term exposure to loud machinery or music
- Measles, meningitis, mumps and other viral infections
- Certain antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and chemotherapy drugs
Sensorineural Hearing Loss is permanent but hearing aids can bring a lot of sound back into the lives of people with mild to moderate loss. For those with more advance hearing loss, cochlear implants that take over the function of sending signals to the brain have proven very effective.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed Hearing Loss is exactly what you might guess it is: a situation in which conductive and sensorineural hearing loss are happening at the same time.
Some of the causes are:
- Soundwaves are being blocked on the way to the cochlea
- The cochlea is having trouble sending signals to the brain
Mixed Hearing Loss is treated by combining various methods mentioned above.
Not Sure If You Have Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss frequently goes unnoticed because it happens gradually.
If you’re not sure you’ve experienced “moments of speech lacking clarity” take our online hearing test.Start Online Hearing Test
It may surprise you to know that there is more than one type of hearing loss; in fact, there are three−conductive, sensorineural and mixed.