Types & Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can make you feel disconnected from those around you, however you are not alone. Having the right information at hand will help you understand how common hearing loss is, and how easy and “invisible” it can be to treat. Over 95% of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids and it is our goal to find you the best hearing solutions for your individual needs. There are generally three different types of hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss
A conductive hearing loss is often temporary. Conductive loss stems from problems in the outer or middle ear and can be caused by:
- Build-up of wax or fluid
- Punctured eardrum
- Otosclerosis – an abnormal bone development in the middle ear
This type of hearing loss can in many cases be treated with wax removal, medication or surgery.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. In fact, sensorineural loss accounts for 90% of all adult hearing problems. It involves the deterioration of the delicate “hair cells” of the inner ear and may be referred to as “nerve deafness”. This is caused by aging and exposure to loud noise but may also be a result of infections and certain medications. If you have a sensorineural loss you will notice:
- Sounds not only diminish in volume, but become distorted
- High-pitched sounds, such as soft consonant sounds are more difficult to hear
- Low-pitched sounds, such as vowels, are easier to hear
This type of hearing loss is caused by problems with the cochlea and the auditory nerve. While there is no cure, hearing aids will help.
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is a hearing loss where both conductive and sensorineural losses occur at the same time.
Temporary hearing loss
Temporary hearing loss can be caused by any of the following:
- Excessive earwax
- Ear infections
- Sinus problems
- Certain medications