Did you know that one in eight people in the United States aged 12 or older has some form of hearing loss in both ears? There are various causes of hearing loss, but the quicker you seek medical help, the more likely it is you can reverse some of the damage.
So, keep reading to find out more about the different types of hearing loss and what causes them.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is a type of hearing loss that happens when sounds cannot get through the outer and middle ear. This is usually due to an obstruction or damage in the ear canal
Conductive hearing loss tends to result in sudden hearing loss that can often be remedied through medicine or surgery.
Conductive hearing loss can be caused by the following:
- a buildup of fluids in your middle ear due to colds or allergies
- ear infections, most likely a middle ear infection
- poor Eustachian tube function
- a hole in your eardrum
- benign tumors
- a buildup of earwax or cerumen
- infection in the ear canal
- the outer or middle ear not forming properly as a child
- a stuck object
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
The most diagnosed type of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).
SNHL occurs when there is damage to the auditory nerve itself, or if there is damage to the stereocilia. Stereocilia are the tiny hair-like cells of the inner ear that are required for hearing and balance. The damage leads to your brain not properly processing information regarding the loudness and clarity of sounds.
While hearing aids may help you hear better, most of the time SNHL cannot be fixed through medicine or surgery.
There are various factors that can lead to SNHL such as:
- drug use
- family history of hearing loss
- head injuries
- listening to loud music
- the inner ear not forming properly
Mixed Hearing Loss
When conductive hearing loss occurs at the same time as sensorineural hearing loss, the result is mixed hearing loss. The mix of hearing loss types means that there may be problems in the inner, middle, or outer ear or nerve pathway to the brain.
This type of hearing loss usually occurs when your ear sustains some kind of trauma or injury. Mixed hearing loss can happen over time when one hearing loss is compounded by another. An example of mixed hearing loss would be a person with age-related hearing loss temporarily experiencing mixed hearing loss due to wax impaction.
As with any type of hearing loss, it is important to have an otolaryngologist confirm which type of hearing loss you have. The Hearing Test Centre will be able to help you rediscover sound with its ongoing care.
Different Types of Hearing Loss Made Easy
Knowing how to differentiate between the different types of hearing loss can help you find a solution quicker. If you are experiencing sudden or severe hearing loss you should contact an audiologist to see what options you have when it comes to surgery or hearing aids.
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