People of all ages can experience hearing loss to a certain degree. Many different factors cause hearing impairment, but hearing loss can be categorized into three different categories: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss. Understanding the type of hearing loss you have will help you know which treatment will work best for your condition. Let’s look at these three types of hearing loss more closely.

Conductive Hearing Loss

With conductive hearing loss, sound is not reaching the inner ear because of an obstruction or trauma. More specifically, sound waves stop at the outer or middle ear because:

People with conductive hearing loss often struggle with the loudness of sounds rather than the clarity. This means they can often turn up the volume on the television or phone and understand the conversations clearly. They may also feel pain or pressure in one or both ears and smell a foul odor coming from the ear canal.

This type of hearing loss is most common in children who get frequent ear infections and place small objects into their ears. It can be treated with medication or surgery.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

With sensorineural hearing loss, people either have a problem with their inner ear or the auditory nerve (or hearing nerve). This is the most common type of hearing loss and is often caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, injury, disease, or an inherited condition.  

If you have sensorineural hearing loss, you may be having difficulty with both the loudness and clarity of sounds. You may find that:

Unfortunately, sensorineural hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically treated. However, many people find that hearing aids help restore their hearing.

Mixed Hearing Loss

It is possible to have both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. A person may have age-related hearing loss (sensorineural) and then develop conductive hearing loss from an injury or ear infection.

Treatment of mixed hearing loss depends on which type of hearing impairment is more prominent. If most of your hearing loss is due to conductive hearing loss, it may be best to treat the problem surgically or medically. If most of the loss is due to sensorineural loss, hearing aids or cochlear implants may provide the best results.

Degrees of Hearing Loss

In addition to being diagnosed with different types of hearing loss, you may also be diagnosed based on the degree of hearing loss you are experiencing. There are four degrees of hearing loss: mild, moderate, severe, and profound.

Get Help and Hear Clearly

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, find a hearing care professional in your area immediately to take a hearing test. They will investigate the problem and suggest treatment plans based on the cause of the hearing impairment.

Most types of hearing loss can be improved with hearing aids or assistive listening devices. If you need a hearing aid, our team can help! We offer hearing aids in Winter Haven and the surrounding areas. Use the hearing aid locator app to find the perfect hearing aid match today! 

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