The Different Forms of Hearing Loss

Over 20 percent of Americans, some 48 million individuals in total, report suffering from some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss is more common as we age. Over 33 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss can be caused by a wide range of factors. The specific type of hearing loss varies from individual to individual. In our blog today, we will look at three of the most common types of hearing loss.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is typically caused by what is termed a “mechanical” failure in the ear. It can also be the result of a blockage in the external ear canal, or in the inner ear itself. Sound is transmitted by sound waves. To hear properly, your ear has to be able to absorb those sound waves and transmit them to the brain. With conductive hearing loss, something has gone wrong with the ear’s ability to absorb sound waves. There are many techniques that can be used to identify the cause of conductive hearing loss, and treat it accordingly.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

The second major type of hearing loss, is sensorineural. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs in the inner ear, or as a result of auditory nerve dysfunction. These are the components of the ear, and the hearing system that are responsible for interpreting soundwaves and delivering that information to the brain. Individuals suffering from sensorineural hearing loss may suffer from reduced sensitivity to sound or suffer from sound distortion.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Individuals suffering from mixed hearing loss are victims of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Often, the conductive components of hearing loss are easiest to address and repair. Each case of mixed hearing loss has to be address and diagnosed individually, by a hearing professional.