Types of hearing loss

Often, people with all types of hearing loss struggle to hear soft sounds and high-pitched sounds such as whispers, children’s voices, or birdsong. However, the type of hearing loss a person has can influence how their hearing is affected.
There are three main types of hearing loss:

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is prevented from reaching the inner ear at full strength. This can be caused by blockages from earwax, fluid in the middle ear, or damage to the bones in the middle ear.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the nerve pathways that transmit sound from the ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is usually permanent and can be caused by exposure to loud noises, aging, or certain medical conditions.

Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means that there is a problem in both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear or nerve pathways.
Audiogram for sensorineural hearing loss in a left ear

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A comprehensive hearing evaluation by a hearing care professional is the best way to diagnose hearing loss. This may include a hearing test, medical history review, and physical examination of the ear.
In some cases, hearing loss can be reversed with medical treatment or surgery. But usually, especially with sensorineural hearing loss, it is permanent and can only be managed with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Yes, exposure to loud noise can cause permanent damage to the inner ear and lead to hearing loss. It is important to protect your ears from loud noises.
Yes. The treatment for hearing loss depends on the type and severity. Options include hearing aids, cochlear implants, and in rare cases, surgery. A visit hearing care professional is the first step to identifying the best treatment option.
Yes. Hearing loss can occur in children at any age, and it can have a significant impact on their development and learning.
Yes. Some causes of are genetic and may be present at birth or develop later during childhood or adulthood.
Yes, some lifestyle changes that can help prevent hearing loss include protecting your ears from loud noises, avoiding unnecessary exposure to ototoxic drugs, and maintaining good overall health.

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