Types of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be divided into two basic types, called conductive and sensorineural or a combination of the two known as a mixed loss.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is caused by anything that interferes with the transmission of sound from the outer to the inner ear. Some examples of conductive hearing loss are compacted wax, perforation of the eardrum, glue ear and dislocation or fusion of the bones in the middle ear. Conductive hearing losses are often treatable but if not, this type of loss responds well to hearing aid amplification.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss is due to damage to the hair cells in the inner ear and/or to the auditory pathway to the brain. The most common cause of a sensorineural hearing loss is age-related (presbyacusis) – the decline in hearing that many people experience as they get older due to hair cell fatigue. Other causes of sensorineural hearing loss include noise induced hearing loss (NIHL), Meneire’s Disease, viral infections, congenital, acoustic neuroma and vascular epsiodes. Sensorineural hearing losses often have other symptons including tinnitus and intolerance to loud sounds and distortion. Sophisticated digital technology can help overcome many of these complications.