By the time we reach 65, one in three of us will have a hearing impairment.
09 December 2020
Learn the three types of hearing loss and their main causes.
Types of hearing loss
There are three types of hearing loss — sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. It occurs when the inner ear nerves and hair cells are damaged — perhaps due to age, noise damage or something else. Sensorineural hearing loss impacts the pathways from your inner ear to your brain. Most times, sensorineural hearing loss cannot be corrected medically or surgically, but can be treated and helped with the use of hearing aids.
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear — perhaps due to fluid, tumors, earwax or even ear formation. This obstruction prevents sound from getting to the inner ear. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated surgically or with medicine.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is just what it sounds like — a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
As with any medical condition, it’s best to know what you “have” before deciding what to do about it. A consultation with Arnold Hearing Specialists can help determine the type, cause and degree of your hearing loss.
Causes of hearing loss
Hearing loss is caused by many factors, most frequently from natural aging or exposure to loud noise. The most common causes of hearing loss are:
- Noise exposure
- Head trauma
- Virus or disease
Things that can cause sensorineural hearing loss are:
- Excessive noise exposure
- Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
- Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)
- High fever or elevated body temperature
- Ménière's disease (a disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance)
- Acoustic tumors
Things that can cause conductive hearing loss are:
- Infections of the ear canal or middle ear resulting in fluid or pus buildup
- Perforation or scarring of the eardrum
- Wax buildup
- Dislocation of the middle ear bones (ossicles)
- Foreign object in the ear canal
- Otosclerosis (an abnormal bone growth in the middle ear)
- Abnormal growths or tumors
If you have any hearing concerns contact us today for a hearing assessment.