Setting the Regional Gold Standard in Hearing Services and Patient Care for More than 30 Years

Sylva, NC 828-586-7474
Franklin, NC 828-524-5599
Murphy, NC 828-835-1014

3 Common Types of Hearing Loss

Man with Hearing Loss

Did you know that there is more than one type of hearing loss that you can suffer from? It’s true, and most people just assume that there’s only one type out there. Either you can hear properly or you can’t, right?

In reality, your hearing loss can completely different to someone else’s - and you could even have two different types of hearing loss in each ear. Consider the three common types of hearing loss and how they differ from one another.

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent type of hearing loss in people all over the world. Unfortunately, it is permanent, and it revolves around problems in your inner ear. We all have small hair cells in our inner ear that work with something called the auditory nerve to signal to our brain that we hear sounds. When either of these things gets damaged, then you will struggle to hear sound clearly, and at the correct volume.

Many things can cause this type of hearing loss, with age being a big factor. But, it could also be the result of exposure to loud noises, trauma to the head, or just a genetic problem that’s passed down through the family. The natural course of treatment is to fit you with hearing aids that help bring volume and clarity back into your life.

Conductive hearing loss

This type of hearing loss isn’t as common as the first, but it is still seen in many people. An audiologist will determine if you have conductive hearing loss by assessing the health of your outer and middle ear. Essentially, if there are problems with your ear canal or eardrum, then it’s usually indicative of this hearing loss.

This can also be a temporary problem that’s caused by something as simple as a blockage in the ear canal. This could be the result of an ear infection, hard earwax, or something being stuck in your ear. Perforated eardrums caused by loud noises can also cause conductive hearing loss. In many cases, treating the cause will get rid of your hearing problem and you’ll be back to normal.

Mixed hearing loss

As the name suggests, this is a combination of the previous two types of hearing loss. Both your outer and middle ear have been damaged, as has your inner ear.

Commonly, this is caused by trauma to the ear. Again, loud noises are the main culprit as they can damage both the eardrum and your inner ear cells. But, you could also have mixed hearing loss if you’ve got sensorineural hearing loss and then you also suffer something like a perforated eardrum or a blockage in the ear canal.

It’s vital that you understand the specific type of hearing loss you have to proceed with the right treatment. Therefore, you should visit your audiologist if you ever experience problems with your hearing, ringing in the ears, pain in your ear or dizziness. They can run hearing tests on you to determine the type of issue you have, then work on improving things for you.