Types of hearing loss

There are three types of hearing loss including: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Most people lose at least some degree of their hearing as they age, and by the time they reach age 65 and older.

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Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can emerge from an obstruction or blockage in the ear, an infection, or damage in any of the three regions of the ear. Hearing loss resulting from a problem in the outer or middle ear is called conductive hearing loss. The most common hearing loss is called sensorineural and is caused by damage along the inner ear. Mixed hearing loss occurs if a combination of both conductive and senorineural loss exists.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive loss occurs when sound is not conducted through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones of the middle ear. It is noted by a decrease in sound level, or the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of loss is often the result of fluid in the ear from colds & allergies, earwax, or even an ear infection, and can often be medically or surgically corrected. Should these treatments not improve one’s hearing, hearing aids can be used.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural loss occurs when the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain are damaged. It can be caused by diseases, medications, genetic disorders, noise, aging, and traumatic injury. There is no way to medically or surgically correct sensorineural loss. It is a permanent condition.

Mixed Hearing Loss

A combination of conductive & sensorineural loss is referred to as a mixed loss. In other words, there may be damage within the outer or middle ear, as well as the inner ear or auditory nerve. This damage cannot be reversed medically; however, well-fitted hearing aids can improve the quality of one’s hearing.

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Tinnitus: ringing in the ears

Tinnitus is the sensation of ringing or high-pitched buzzing in the head. It may occur in association with hearing loss and can be either infrequent or continuous. The causes of tinnitus are as diverse as those of hearing loss and may not be distinct in an individual case.

Frequently asked questions

Can mixed hearing loss be reversed?

Treatment options depend on the specific causes contributing to the mixed hearing loss. Some cases may be reversible with medical intervention, while others may require hearing aids or other assistive devices.

One in ten Americans has experienced hearing loss. You may be among them. In most cases, hearing loss happens gradually. Acknowledgment, likewise, is something most people come to slowly. If you suspect you might have a hearing loss, take a moment to take our self-assessment.

While age-related hearing loss is not entirely preventable, protecting your ears from loud noise exposure and maintaining overall ear health may help to delay its onset or reduce its severity.

Tinnitus can be associated with hearing loss, but not all individuals with tinnitus have hearing loss. However, many people with hearing loss also experience tinnitus.