Types of Hearing Loss

Types of hearing loss

There are three main types of hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss occurs when there is an impedance in transferring sound from the middle ear to inner ear. This usually occurs due to a blockage/malformation that prevents sound from getting in, or a problem transferring the sound inside the ear, lowering the intensity of the sound coming in. This usually creates a feeling of pressure. Often this type of hearing loss can be fixed once the blockage is removed or if the mechanical issue is resolved through surgery. After treatment for conductive hearing loss, hearing aids are sometimes used to correct the remaining hearing loss.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss is another form of hearing loss. It is the most common, affecting 90% of hearing loss sufferers (Watson, S. (n.d.). Discovery Health "How Hearing Aids Work". Discovery Health "Discovery Fit & Health". Retrieved July 12, 2013, from http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/modern-technology/hearing-aid.htm). In this case, it is due to inner ear issues or auditory nerve malfunction. The hearing loss related to the sensory component could be due to a number of things, such as ear nerves degenerating, the hair cells not responding to the sound waves properly, or the fluid movement in the cochlea malfunctioning. This type of hearing is usually permanent and does not respond to medical treatment. A consequence is that it also lowers the intensity of the sound as does conductive hearing loss, but it can often distort the sound in this case, making understanding speech difficult. The most common solution to this hearing loss is with the use of hearing aids.

In some cases, patients may have mixed hearing loss that has elements of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss; nonetheless, the treatments are often the same for these patients as they would be for those with only one type of hearing loss

(BHI: Hearing Loss - Types of Hearing Loss from BetterHearing.org. (n.d.).Better Hearing Institute. Retrieved July 12, 2013, from http://www.betterhearing.org/hearing_loss/types_of_hearing_loss/types_of_loss_detail.cfm).