Types of Hearing Loss

Not all hearing loss is the same. There are different types of hearing loss, and there are varying degrees of hearing loss. The hearing loss you experience may not be the same as another family member or friend. Hear Again America will help you address and treat your hearing loss, no matter the type or degree.

Types of hearing loss

Hearing loss may be temporary or permanent. Temporary hearing loss may be caused by an exposure to a sudden loud noise, an ear infection or even excess ear wax. Temporary hearing loss caused by a sudden loud sound usually resolves on its own. A temporary hearing loss caused by an infection can often be corrected by treating the virus, and removal of excess earwax will restore proper hearing if that is the cause of hearing loss.

However, most hearing loss is permanent and may be sensorineural or conductive in nature.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by problems with the inner ear or auditory nerve. The most common cause of sensorineural hearing loss is damage to the hair cells in the cochlea. The damage can be the result of exposure to noise, aging or a congenital defect. When the hair cells can’t perform properly, sound isn’t transmitted to the brain correctly so you don’t hear as you should. This type of hearing loss is often perceived as muffled speech, tinnitus, difficulty understanding speech with background noise or the inability to hear high pitched tones (such as female or children’s voices). 

Sensorineural hearing loss may be stable over time or worsen. Wearing hearing aids does not promote further hearing loss. If you have hearing loss, you should have your hearing checked regularly. The hearing health care professionals as Hear Again America can prescribe hearing aids and adjust them as necessary if your hearing changes.  

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is a problem with the way sound is conducted to the inner ear and a structure called the cochlea. The problem may lie in the ear canal, eardrum (tympanic membrane) or the middle ear (ossicles and Eustachian tube). The inner ear and auditory nerve remain unaffected in this type of hearing loss.

Conductive hearing loss

The symptoms of conductive hearing loss may be similar to sensorineural hearing loss, but the root cause of the hearing loss is very different. Conductive hearing loss may be permanent or temporary, depending on the underlying cause. Causes of conductive hearing loss include:

  • Ear infections
  • Excess earwax or complete blockage
  • Deterioration of the middle ear bones 
  • Otosclerosis
  • Perforated tympanic membrane 
  • Defect in the outer ear or middle ear structures.

In some cases, medical intervention will correct the hearing loss. In others, hearing aids or other devices are the most appropriate treatment.

Mixed hearing loss

Sometimes a combination of events causes a combination of hearing loss. For example, compacted earwax and damage to the hair cells in the cochlea combine to cause sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. This is referred to as mixed hearing loss. Removing the compacted earwax will correct the conductive hearing loss, but the sensorineural hearing loss will still be present, and hearing aids or other treatments may be necessary.

Trust Hear Again America to expertly diagnose the cause and degree of your hearing loss and recommend the appropriate treatment. Experience the joy of hearing again. Call today and schedule your free hearing test

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