Types of Hearing Loss

The three main types of hearing loss are:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss
  • Mixed Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss 

Conductive hearing loss is a problem in the outer or middle ear that prevents sound from reaching the inner ear. Most conductive hearing losses are temporary and can be treated with medication, a short procedure, or surgery. When it cannot be treated with those means, most people benefit from the use of a hearing aid.

Some possible causes of conductive hearing loss are:

  • Fluid in the middle ear from colds
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Impacted cerumen (earwax)
  • Benign tumors
  • Swimmer’s Ear
  • Presence of a foreign body
  • Absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear

Learn more about conductive hearing loss by clicking here. 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss 

Sensorineural hearing loss is the result of a problem in the inner ear. It occurs when hair cells in the cochlea are missing or damaged. These are responsible for producing signals that the brain needs to interpret sound. Aside from surgery, the only solution for this type of hearing loss is to utilize hearing aids.

Some possible causes of sensorineural hearing loss are:

  • Illnesses
  • Drugs that are toxic to hearing
  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Head trauma
  • Malformation of the inner ear
  • Exposure to loud noise

Learn more about sensorineural hearing loss by clicking here. 

Mixed Hearing Loss 

Sometimes a conductive hearing loss occurs in combination 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 occurs, this is called a mixed hearing loss, and can be treated with hearing aids, medication, a short procedure, or with surgery.