Hearing Loss Basics: The Different Types of Hearing Loss

It’s common for many individuals to lose their hearing to some degree due to aging, and once they reach 65 years of age and above, 1 in 3 individuals develop some kind of hearing impairment. It’s extremely upsetting for a person to be incapable of hearing well enough to take pleasure in conversing with family and friends. While hearing disorders could make communicating difficult, the afflicted person could still hear, but only to some extent. On the other hand, deafness could prevent a person from hearing anything at all.

Hearing Loss Types

In general, hearing loss come in three types, which include conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.

  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Considered the most common hearing loss type, this happens when a person damages his inner ear nerves, which in turn make them incapable of sending the brain sound signals. It’s mainly develops when the inner ear’s hair cells wither due to aging, certain medications, or noise damage. Basically, the ear won’t be able to accurately detect sound if these hair cells are unhealthy.
  • Conductive Hearing Loss – This is normally the result of middle or outer ear obstructions, which prevent the access of sound to the middle ear. Sounds and voice might appear distorted and/or faint. Take note however that some cases could be surgically or medically treated.
  • Mixed Hearing Loss – This hearing loss type is basically a combination of the two aforementioned types of hearing loss. However, aside from some level of irreversible hearing loss due to auditory nerve or inner ear disorder, it’s also characterized by middle ear mechanism dysfunction that makes it more serious than sensorineural hearing loss alone.

Could My Trusty Doctor Detect If I Have Hearing Loss?

It’s extremely critical to note that only 13% of doctors screen patient for possible hearing loss. Likewise, since the majority of people afflicted with hearing impairments actually hear quite good in quiet settings, such as the doctor’s office, it could be hard for the doctor to detect the issue, explains an audiologist from a top hearing clinic in Washington. Only trained hearing experts, such as audiologists, could figure out the scope of the hearing issue, whether wearing hearing aids could benefit you or not, and which specific type might be the most appropriate for your case.