Types of Hearing Loss

Types of Hearing Loss

Different Types of Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss

Sound doesn’t travel properly (“conduct”) from the outside to the inner ear. Causes include infection, wax blockage and trauma. This can sometimes be corrected by surgery or simple amplification.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Generally a problem with the inner ear, or cochlea, in which the sensory hair cells do not detect some pitches of sound as well as they should.

Causes include ageing, excessive noise exposure and some viral infections. Most hearing impairments fall into this category, so this is the problem that most hearing aids seek to address.

Mixed hearing loss

A mixed hearing loss occurs if both conductive and sensorineural hearing losses are present.

Auditory deprivation

Long-term studies suggest that without proper stimulation, the brain can “forget” how to hear. This is known as auditory deprivation and results in permanently reduced speech understanding which cannot be restored with hearing aids.

Hearing loss in children

The most common cause of hearing loss in children is due to ear infection, or otitis media. This can usually be successfully treated. In rare cases, hearing loss may be present from birth or acquired due to infection or trauma. In these cases hearing aids may be helpful.

Watch the video

Watch the video below for more information about the types of hearing loss.