Signs and Types of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss becomes more and more common as people age, but that isn’t the only cause of hearing loss.

There are three main types of hearing loss: Sensorineural, Conductive and Mixed.

Let’s start by looking at the what each is, and what the causes are.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is permanent. Getting older is a primary cause of this type of hearing loss, but there are other causes.

In addition to aging, sensorineural hearing loss may be caused by:

  • Injury
  • Excessive noise exposure
  • Viral infections, such as measles or mumps
  • Ototoxic drugs, which are medications that damage hearing
  • Meningitis
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High fever
  • Meniere's disease
  • Acoustic tumors
  • Heredity

The primary symptoms of Sensorineural hearing loss is diminished hearing - voices may sound muffled, the television has to be very loud to be heard, or trouble understanding what is being heard.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Sometimes this type of hearing loss is permanent, and sometimes it is not. It’s caused by a problem in the middle or outer ear.

This type of hearing loss can be caused by situations that are temporary, and fixable - like fluid in the ears, an ear infection or earwax build up.

But it can also be permanent. As in the case of otosclerosis, a condition in which there is an abnormal growth of bone of the middle ear. This bone prevents structures within the ear from working properly and causes hearing loss. For some people with otosclerosis, the hearing loss may become severe.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Mixed hearing loss is just what it sounds like - a mixture of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Symptoms and causes vary depending on severity and cause.

Hearing Loss is common, but the only way you can deal with your hearing loss is determining what type you are experiencing and talk to a hearing care professional about the next steps.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of certified hearing care professionals at HearingLife (formerly Family Audiology).

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