Types of Hearing Loss & and their Cause
Suffering hearing loss, whether temporary or permanent, is a difficult experience no matter your age. The support of family and friends is essential, as is having the right information to help you make an informed decision about the next steps.
- There are two main types of hearing loss: sensorineural and conductive, though individuals can suffer from both and to differing degrees.
- Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or to the nerves that connect the ear to the brain.
- Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused in a number of ways: ageing, noise exposure, genetic conditions, a congenital or birth-related issue, as well as from taking drugs and/or medication.
- Early treatment is vital as sensorineural hearing loss can rarely be reversed by medical or surgical procedures.
- A range of hearing aid devices is available to anyone suffering from sensorineural hearing loss and help in maintaining an individual’s quality of life.
- Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound is blocked from travelling through the ear canal or middle ear.
- Conductive hearing loss can be caused in a number of ways, some of which may be reversed. These include an accumulation of ear wax, a middle ear infection, and a growth / abnormal bone growth in the middle ear.
- Depending on the cause of conductive hearing loss, a medical or surgical procedure may be able to reverse all or some of the damage. Hence, early intervention by a trained hearing care professional is vital.
- Where a medical or surgical procedure may help minimise the hearing loss, a range of hearing aid devices can ensure that a good quality of life is maintained.
- Individuals can also suffer from mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. A health check with a trained hearing care professional is advised as an initial first step.