Types of Hearing Loss

older-woman-smiling3Many people unfamiliar with the structures of the ear don’t realize that there are different types of hearing loss. By that, we don’t mean the superficial circumstances of the hearing loss (a sudden loud noise, for example, or exposure to loud noises over a long period of time). Rather, the different types of hearing loss are caused by damage to the various structures of the ear.

When you come to our Chico hearing aid clinic, we will do a comprehensive ear examination to see which type of hearing loss you may be suffering from. This will help us determine the best option to restore your hearing and maintain your ear health down the road. Let’s look at the three types of hearing loss right now.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss refers to issues affecting the outer ear and middle ear that block sound from reaching the inner ear. If you have this kind of hearing loss, you may notice that people’s voices may seem quieter or indistinct. Some common causes of conductive hearing loss include waxy build-up, objects lodged in the ear canal, infection of the ear canal, and build-up of fluid in the middle ear.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss refers to cases in which the nerves of the inner ear are damaged in some way. This means that sounds are not properly relayed to the brain. If you have this kind of hearing loss, voices seem to be muffled, or you can hear voices but cannot tell what has been said. Some common causes of sensorineural hearing loss include advanced age, ear injury, long-term exposure to loud noises, infections and systemic diseases, stroke, and genetic factors.

Mixed Hearing Loss

Simply put, mixed hearing loss refers to a mix of both conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss.

Once it is determined what kind of hearing loss you suffer from, we will devise a treatment plan of some kind. Chico hearing aids can be helpful in some cases (they’re generally helpful for sensorineural hearing loss, for instance), or surgery to repair structures of the ear may be considered. To learn which options might best help you, please schedule a consultation at Paradise Hearing & Balance Clinics, Inc. today.

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