Types of Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss:

Occurs when the transmission of sound through the outer and middle ear is interrupted. Common causes are wax build-up, a perforated eardrum, fluid in the middle ear, or damage to the small bones located in the middle ear. Most conductive hearing loss can be treated medically but there are times when hearing instruments are needed.

Sensorineural hearing loss:

Occurs in the inner ear affecting the transmission of sound through the cochlear and/or auditory nerve. Common causes are exposure to loud noises, trauma to the inner ear, the normal aging process, exposure to damaging medication, and disease. There is no medical treatment for sensorineural hearing loss, it is usually treated with hearing aids.

Mixed hearing loss:

Occurs when there is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Example: fluid in the middle ear and damage to the cochlea. Mixed losses are treated with a combination approach of medical management for the conductive component and hearing instruments for the sensorineural component.

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