Types of hearing loss


 

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is a decrease in sound due to problems located in either the middle ear or the outer ear. This type of hearing loss is often treatable with the right type of intervention such as medicine or surgery. A conductive hearing loss can have several causes. Among them are ear infections which tend to cause fluid in the middle ear, wax in the ear canal or a perforation of the eardrum.

 

Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is a problem related to the inner ear and/or the nerve pathways between the inner ear and the brain. Common causes of sensorineural hearing loss are Aging, Infection, Meniere’s disease, Meningitis, Certain genetic disorders, Viruses, Excessive exposure to noise.


Sensorineural hearing loss cannot be cured, but hearing may be improved with hearing aids.


Mixed hearing loss

Mixed hearing loss is the occurrence of both a conductive hearing loss and a sensorineural hearing loss at the same time. The inner ear and nerve paths are damaged and there is a blockage in either the middle ear or the outer ear. While the conductive hearing loss can usually be corrected, the sensorineural loss is permanent and hearing aids can often be used to improve it.

Degrees of hearing loss

It’s a fact that 1 out of 6 people over the age of 50 have trouble hearing and require some help with amplification of sounds. Hearing loss ranges from mild loss to moderate, severe and to profound.

Mild Hearing Loss

Mild hearing loss is the next degree of hearing loss. Someone with mild hearing loss cannot hear many sounds softer than 20–40 dB. This means that they can hear person’s inside voice, which is about 65dB, but not softer sounds like a ticking clock, dripping faucet, or many of the softer sounds of speech.


Moderate Hearing Loss

A moderate degree of hearing loss, if untreated, can affect a person’s daily life in a significant way. Someone with moderate hearing loss cannot hear sounds softer than 40–70 dB. This means that they may be unable to hear sounds like normal conversation or the ringing of a telephone.


Severe Hearing Loss

Severe hearing loss will almost always affect a person’s daily life. Someone with severe hearing loss cannot hear sounds softer than 70–90 dB. This means that they may be unable to hear sounds like loud conversation or traffic noise.


Profound Hearing Loss

Profound hearing loss is the most significant degree of hearing loss. Someone with profound hearing loss cannot hear sounds softer than 90–120 dB. This means that they may be unable to hear very loud sounds like airplane engines, trucks moving down the road, or fire alarms.