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Discovering Hearing Loss

Hearing loss occurs when one part of the auditory hearing system doesn’t work as it should. While hearing loss ranges from person to person, audiologists can differentiate hearing loss into three types.

  • Sensorineural hearing loss
  • Conductive hearing loss
  • Mixed hearing loss

 

About 48 million Americans, (1 in 6 people), suffer from mild, severe, or profound hearing loss.

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Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Often the most identified hearing loss type, sensorineural hearing loss, occurs when the hair cells and inner ear nerves become damaged. Damaged auditory nerves weaken or block the transfer of nerve signals to the brain. Auditory nerves are instrumental for carrying information about clarity and loudness of sounds.

Common Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

  • Genetic syndrome in newborns.
  • Exposure to loud noise.
  • Normal aging.
  • Infections and diseases such as mumps, heart diseases, and diabetes can trigger sensorineural hearing loss.
  • Traumatic injuries to the ear.

This type of hearing loss can be treated by using hearing aids.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss is less common and occurs when there is damage or obstruction within the middle or outer ear. Blockages prevent sound from being transferred to the inner ear. Depending on the cause of conductive hearing loss and its degree of severity, the condition may be permanent or temporary.

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss

Experts distinguish the causes of conductive hearing loss by which part of the ear gets affected between the middle and outer ear.

 

Unlike sensorineural hearing loss, temporary conductive hearing loss can reverse through antibiotics, ear wax extraction, and surgery. In some cases, hearing aids are best recommended.

  • Wax impaction
  • Narrowing of the ear canal, also known as stenosis
  • Blockages caused by the insertion of foreign materials into the ear
  • Bone-like extensions that may develop in the ear canal and block the passages
  • Abnormal tumors and growths in the middle ear
  • Damage to the eardrum often caused by ear infections, extreme air pressure changes, and injuries
  • Ear infection or build-up of fluid in the middle ear
  • Abnormal thickening of the eardrum
  • Obstructions in the Eustachian tube
Conductive Hearing Loss

Mixed Hearing Loss

As the term suggests, it is the combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. In most cases, this type of hearing loss occurs when the ear suffers some injury. After being diagnosed with one hearing loss, the other type may show up over time, subjecting you to mixed hearing loss. With mixed hearing loss, you will notice symptoms of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.

Do you feel like some hearing loss trouble has been bothering you lately? Contact us for more information about hearing loss and let us help you.

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