Types Of Hearing Loss
Every person’s auditory system consists of different sections that aid in hearing different sounds. These include the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the acoustic nerve. Hearing loss occurs when any of these parts isn’t working optimally.
Hearing loss can be mild to profound, and depending on the cause, will have different symptoms and treatments. Here’s a detailed overview of the different types of hearing loss, their causes, and treatment options you should know:
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss is caused when sound is blocked in the outer or middle ear.
- Excessive earwax
- Damaged eardrum
- Ear infection or fluid in the middle ear
- Stiffness in the bones of the middle ear (otosclerosis)
The symptoms of conductive hearing loss reduce your ability to hear sounds, but not clarity. You will likely have a sensation of fullness in your ears alongside tinnitus. You may also experience pain or drainage if your ear is infected.
Treatment for Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when something is preventing sound from passing from your outer or middle ear to your inner ear. Fortunately, many conditions that cause this type of hearing loss are treatable, depending on the extent of your hearing loss. Sometimes, your hearing loss can be reversed completely.
Treatment for conductive hearing loss often includes removing excess earwax or fluid from the outer and middle ear. You may also be prescribed antibiotics for infections, and in more severe cases, you may need to undergo surgery from an otolaryngologist. Your hearing specialist may also recommend using hearing aids if your residual hearing loss is irreversible.
Most often a conductive hearing loss can be medically treated with high success and hearing aids are often very helpful in situations where the condition cannot be treated medically.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when the sensory hair cells in the cochlea of the inner ear are damaged and cannot send complete signals to the brain.
- Noise exposure
- Hereditary factors
- Oto-toxic medication
People who have sensorineural hearing loss often experience common symptoms that make the condition easy to identify. These include:
- Turning up the TV or radio volume beyond normal levels
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Straining to hear other people in conversations
- Misunderstanding conversations
- Experiencing tinnitus in the ears
- Reporting that your friends and family mumble
Treatment for Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Unfortunately, most sensorineural hearing loss cases are permanent and cannot be corrected with medicine or surgery. However, hearing aids can be very effective and have been known to improve a patient’s hearing ability.
If your sensorineural hearing loss was caused by bacterial infections, it might be reversible if treated promptly. You may also want to consider switching any ototoxic medications you may be taking if they are the cause of your hearing loss.
While you cannot avoid age-related hearing loss, you can prevent noise-induced hearing loss by using good-quality ear protection when in loud environments such as concerts or job sites.
This type of hearing loss cannot be corrected with medicine or surgery and hearing aids can be very helpful.
Mixed Hearing Loss
In some situations, people suffer from both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Experiencing both types of hearing loss often affects both the inner ear and either the middle or outer ear. It can often result in a more profound hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss can be caused by various conditions. These may include age-related sensorineural hearing loss, blocked ears, noise-induced sensorineural hearing loss, or an ear infection. These are some of the main causes of mixed hearing loss.
Common symptoms of mixed hearing loss include not being able to hear sounds clearly. You may also experience:
- A sensation of fullness in your ears
- Tinnitus (buzzing or ringing) in the ears
- Pain in the ears
- Fluid discharge
Treatment of Mixed Hearing Loss
First, you need to visit a hearing specialist to determine the extent of your hearing loss and determine the best treatment options to use. This may include the removal of excess earwax or fluids, administering antibiotics, or surgery. Hearing aids can also help in treating residual conductive hearing loss.
Get Help from Our Hearing Loss Specialists
If you are experiencing any of the hearing loss symptoms above, be sure to visit Bravo Hearing Centre for a hearing test. Our specialists will ensure you get a proper diagnosis of which type of hearing loss you have and the recommended treatment options.
The types of hearing loss mentioned above can impact your physical, mental, and social health and get worse when not treated in time. Contact Us for more information about hearing loss today or book a hearing test at our hearing centre.