Different Types of Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is the result of disorders in either the outer or middle ear, which prevent sound from getting to the inner ear. Voices and sounds may sound faint, distorted or both. Some common causes of conductive hearing loss include:
- Infection of the ear canal or middle ear
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
- Wax build-up
- Foreign objects in the ear canal
Most conductive hearing loss can be helped medically or surgically if treated promptly.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when inner ear nerves become damaged and do not properly transmit their signals to the brain. Patients may complain that people seem to mumble or that they hear, but do not understand, what is being said. The aging process is the most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss. In addition to advancing age, sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by:
- Excessive noise exposure
Sensorineural hearing loss is not often medically or surgically treatable. Most sensorineural hearing loss can be successfully treated with hearing aids.
Mixed Hearing Loss
If a hearing loss is the result of both conductive and sensorineural components, it is known as a mixed hearing loss.