Types of Hearing Loss

There are three main types of hearing loss that can be diagnosed:

● Conductive Hearing Loss

● Sensorineural Hearing Loss

● Mixed Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss, often a temporary condition, is a problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear. Most conductive hearing losses can be treated with medication or surgery. When this loss cannot be resolved through those means, a hearing aid is often the most beneficial solution.

Some possible causes of Conductive Hearing Loss are:

● Fluid in the middle ear from cold viruses

● Ear infections

● Allergies

● Perforated eardrum

● Impacted cerumen (Earwax)

● Benign tumors

● Swimmer’s Ear

● Presence of a foreign object

● Absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss is the result of a problem in the inner ear. This kind of hearing loss occurs when hair cells in the cochlea are missing or damaged. These cells are essential for producing signals that the brain needs to interpret sound.

Some possible causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss are:

● Illnesses

● Drugs that are toxic to hearing (also known as ototoxic drugs)

● Genetics

● Aging

● Head trauma

● Malformation of the inner ear

● Exposure to loud noise

Mixed Hearing Loss

Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs along with a sensorineural hearing loss. This is when there is damage to either the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or auditory nerve. When this happens, it is called a Mixed Hearing Loss.

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