Different Types of Hearing Loss

The general types of hearing loss can be described as congenital or acquired. A congenital hearing loss is one that is present at, or soon after, birth. An acquired hearing loss is one that occurs later on in life. Depending on which part of the hearing system is affected, a person’s hearing loss can be categorized as one of the following:

  • Conductive
  • Sensorineural
  • Mixed

Conductive Hearing Loss

A conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is not “conducted” efficiently through the ear canal, eardrum, or through the tiny bones of the middle ear. This results in a reduction of the loudness of a sound. Common causes of a conductive hearing loss include:

  • Trauma to the ear
  • Fluid in the middle ear
  • Excessive wax in the outer ear canal
  • Outer ear infection

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells in the cochlea which cannot be repaired or replaced. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:

  • Exposure to loud noises
  • The aging process
  • Viral Infections
  • Trauma to the ear
  • Medications that are toxic to the ear

NOTE: Typically, sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and irreversible and the only real solution is to improve the ability to hear through the use of hearing aids.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Some people have both a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss, and as you probably already guessed, the combination of these two types is referred to as a mixed hearing loss. For example, a mixed loss can occur when someone has a sensorineural hearing loss and develops fluid in their middle ear causing a conductive hearing loss. This usually means that once the conductive hearing loss is resolved, their hearing levels should return to the level it was at prior to the conductive hearing loss.

If you think you may have hearing loss, get your hearing assessed by the experienced hearing care professionals at Hearing Solutions, Inc. We have 3 convenient locations in North-Central Florida. Contact us today and schedule an appointment.