There are three main types of hearing loss, and each is defined by it’s own set of causes and treatment approaches.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive Hearing Loss happens where the outer or middle ear has a problem with getting the sound waves to the inner ear. Most conductive hearing losses are temporary and can be treated with medication or surgery, and when those routes are unavailable, 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
- Perforated eardrum
- Impacted cerumen (Earwax)
- Benign tumors
- Swimmer’s Ear
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs due to a problem in the inner ear. Often, inner ear damage results when the tiny hair cells in the cochlea are missing or damaged. These are responsible for producing signals that the brain needs to interpret sound.
Some possible causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss are:
- Drugs that are toxic to hearing
- Head trauma
- Malformation of the inner ear
- Exposure to loud noise
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.