There are 3 types of hearing loss:
1. Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when sounds are not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the tiny bones (ossicles) of the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss usually involves a reduction in sound level of the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can potentially be corrected medically or surgically.
- Some possible causes of conductive hearing loss:
- Fluid in the middle ear from colds
- Ear infection
- Poor eustachian tube function
- Perforated eardrum
- Benign tumors
- Impacted earwax (cerumen)
- Infection in the ear canal
- Swimmer’s Ear
- Presence of a foreign body
- Absence or malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear
2. Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) occurs when there is damage to the inner ear (cochlea), or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Most of the time, SNHL cannot be medically or surgically corrected. This is the most common type of permanent hearing loss. SNHL reduces the ability to hear faint sounds. Even when speech is load enough to hear, it may still be unclear or sound muffled.
- Some possible causes of SNHL
- Hearing loss that runs in the family (genetic or hereditary)
- Head trauma
- Malformation of the inner ear
- Exposure to loud noise
- Medications that are toxic to hearing
3. Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss can occur when there is a presence of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss together. In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve.