The different types of hearing loss

Most people seem to think that there’s only one type of hearing loss.

But, in fact there are two. Conductive and Sensorineural.

But, before we delve in deeper, let’s first establish one thing:

In the US alone, 48 million adults suffer from some degree of hearing loss.

That equates to over 1 in 10.

Hearing loss can be an expensive thing to go wrong, so now know that, you probably want to know a little more so you’re well prepared, right?

Back to the point of this blog.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the frequent need to increase the volume on your television set, or you’ve struggled to clearly hear and keep up with conversations – especially in social situations where there’s background noise or many people chatting nearby.

These challenges – along with hearing muffled sounds, an unclear understanding of consonants, and asking for a sentence to be repeated slowly – are common indicators of hearing loss.

Fortunately, most hearing loss can be treated, but before any care can begin, it is important to know what type of hearing loss you actually have.

There are two types of hearing loss — conductive and sensorineural.

  • Conductive – This is most often a temporary condition due to a blockage or a malformation somewhere en route from the outer ear to the inner ear.

Common causes may include earwax build up, fluid from an ear infection, a ruptured eardrum, or the stiffening of the small link of bones within the middle ear.

The good news is that the majority of these conditions can be treated with medication or surgery.

If your conductive hearing loss is not treatable through these measures, it is then considered a permanent conductive hearing loss. In this case, middle ear transplants or conventional hearing aids can help to improve your hearing.

Your audiologist will work with you to ensure the best option suitable for your specific needs, lifestyle, and budget.

  • Sensorineural – The cochlea is a snail-shaped, fluid-filled sensory organ located within your inner ear. It is lined with tiny sensors that convert sounds into nerve messages that are then sent to the brain.

Should any of these sensors become damaged, then the quality of your hearing can be affected. Damage is often caused but not limited to exposure to loud noises, aging, head trauma, Meniere’s Disease, genetics, illnesses, and a malformation of the ear.

Sensorineural hearing loss due to aging or loud noises is most often treated with conventional hearing aids. In instances where the hearing loss is profound, cochlear implants can be extremely beneficial.

Occasionally, a person may experience conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This is referred to as mixed hearing loss.

In this case, not only is their damage to the outer or middle ear, but also to the inner ear or nerve pathway leading to the brain. Treatment likely involves a combination of medication or surgical procedures plus the implementation of a hearing aid.

The cost of hearing loss can indeed be a drain, but it doesn’t have to be – in fact, at PHC Tennessee, we’re committed to providing exceptionally reasonable rates for our valued patients.

We work closely with Ear Nose and Throat Consultants to thoroughly assess your unique hearing needs.  A highly trained and experienced audiologist will work diligently to determine the cause of your hearing loss.

We will discuss your individual concerns, investigate and identify the cause of your hearing loss, and implement the best solution for you.

Take the first step to better hearing, by calling us on 877-358-6130 or clicking here to book your hearing evaluation with our expert Doctors