Hearing loss can be caused by multiple different things. Everyone that has hearing loss experiences it differently as it can vary in degree and configuration. Hearing loss can be mild, moderate, severe, or profound. Some people have more low frequency hearing loss, while others have more high frequency hearing loss. Having your hearing tested by one of our hearing care providers will determine what kind of hearing loss you have, as well the severity.
There are three different types of hearing loss. They are sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there has been damage to the inner ear. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. Some side effects of sensorineural hearing loss are tinnitus, muffled speech, difficulty hearing in background noise, and difficulty understanding speech. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused my multiple things. It can be hereditary, it can result from noise exposure, and most commonly it's caused by aging. Sensorineural hearing losses are permanent and can either remain stable or worsen over time. If you have sensorineural hearing loss, it is important to have your hearing tested regularly. If you wear hearing aids, these routing hearing tests will help your hearing care provider program your hearing aids to reflect any changes in your hearing over time.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a disruption to the normal pathway of sound into the inner ear. Individuals with conductive hearing loss often have a harder time hearing softer sounds. The cause of the conductive hearing loss could be due to an issue with the ear canal, the eardrum, the eustachian tube, or the middle ear bones. Some potential causes of conductive hearing loss include; outer or middle ear infections, otosclerosis (fixation of the middle ear bones), a blocked ear canal by ear wax or other foreign objects, deterioration of the middle ear bones, a perforated eardrum, or the absence of the outer or middle ear structure. Conductive hearing losses can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause of the hearing loss. Sometimes the hearing loss can be treated medically, and other times hearing aids are needed to treat the hearing loss.
Mixed hearing loss is when a person experiences both sensorineural hearing loss and conductive hearing loss. Individuals with mixed hearing losses have hearing loss that is caused by both the inner ear as well as the outer and/or middle ear.