The 4 Types of Hearing Loss

Posted on November 4, 2015. Filed under: hearing education, hearing health, hearing loss | Tags: , , , , |

Hearing loss can affect any age and could be the result of many different factors. One out of every 10 Americans has some sort of hearing loss. For people over the age of 65 and over, the ratio is nearly one in three. There are different types of hearing loss and various degrees. Some can be treated medically while others are permanent. The way hearing is categorized is according to which part of the auditory system is affected. For the most part, the types of hearing are conductive, sensorineural, mixed and central.


Conductive hearing loss is affected when the passage of sound between the eardrum and the inner ear. Sound passes from the ear canal to the eardrum and through the middle ear, were sound is transmitted across the middle of the ear by three bones, called ossicles, to the inner ear. A common sign of conductive hearing is the reduction of sound level or the ability to hear faint sounds. It can be corrected medically or surgically. Some of the causes of conductive hearing loss are ear infections, allergies, fluid in the middle of the ear and more.


Sensorineural hearing occurs when there is damage in the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. This is the most common permanent hearing loss. For the most part, it cannot be corrected through surgery or medication. Some of the possible causes of sensorineural hearing are head trauma, aging, or illnesses.


The other type of hearing loss is mixed hearing loss meaning that it is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing aids are one of the ways to help this type of hearing loss. One of the rarest forms of hearing loss is central. Those with central hearing loss have inconsistent auditory behavior and cannot be solved with hearing aids. It should be treated with a program combining their communication abilities.



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