Common Forms of Hearing Loss

Are You Suffering from Hearing Loss? Learn About Your Condition and the Cause, and Take Action

Do you suffer from hearing loss? If so, you may think you know why you’re dealing with hearing loss. However, it can be hard to know exactly what the cause is. There are several forms of hearing loss, dozens of causes, and countless symptoms that result from hearing loss.

The severity of hearing loss differs among those who suffer from it, and it is categorized in levels. The levels of hearing loss include:

  • Mild
  • Moderate
  • Moderately-severe
  • Severe
  • Profound

Are you ready to minimize the impact hearing loss has on your life? Louisiana Ear Nose Throat & Sinus is here to serve you. Our audiologists will carefully examine your condition, determine the extent of your loss, and present you with available treatment options to consider.

Get answers about your hearing loss by taking the LENTS Audiology Quiz here, or by scheduling an appointment with LENTS below.

Hearing Loss Types

The four main forms of hearing loss we observe and treat here at LENTS include conductive, sensorineural, mixed, and neural.

Conductive

When hearing loss is due to an issue with how sound travels to the cochlea (inner ear), conductive hearing loss is present. The issue may be found in several parts of the ear, including:

  • Ear canal
  • Eardrum
  • Ossicles and eustachian tube (middle ear)

Causes of conductive hearing loss include:

  • Ear infections
  • Blockages from earwax
  • Deterioration of the bones (ossicles) in the middle ear
  • Otosclerosis
  • Perforated eardrum
  • Missing outer or middle ear structures

The cause or causes of conductive hearing loss can be short-term or permanent. Symptoms experienced as a result of conductive hearing loss include hearing “muffled” sounds and hearing sounds quieter than they are.

Sensorineural

When a hearing system’s sensory receptors are defective, which occurs within the hair cells of the cochlea, sensorineural hearing loss is present. Sensorineural hearing loss is almost always permanent. This type of hearing loss may worsen over time, and it prohibits sound from reaching the brain as intended. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common form of hearing loss, and 90% of all hearing aid wearers have this type of loss.

Sufferers of sensorineural hearing loss are advised to undergo regular hearing tests. Recommended treatment for this type of hearing loss is traditionally hearing aids (amplification) or cochlear implants.

Causes of sensorineural hearing loss include:

  • Issues at birth (congenital disorder)
  • Damage from:
    - Genetics
    - Infections
    - Medications
    - Exposure to loud noises
    - Injury
  • Aging (presbycusis)

Symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss include hearing sounds as “muffled,” tinnitus, which is ringing in the ears, and having issues hearing clearly when background noises are present.

Mixed

When sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are present, meaning there are issues in both the inner and middle or outer ear, it’s referred to as “mixed” hearing loss. Hearing aids are often the recommended treatment for mixed hearing loss, and there may be some benefit of medical intervention and management.

Neural

Hearing loss can be caused by flaws in the nerves that communicate to your brain from the ear, which is called neural hearing loss. This can complicate understanding speech. Hearing aids may be recommended as treatment.

Causes of neural hearing loss include:

  • Genetics
  • Tumors
  • Infections
  • Infant jaundice
  • Premature birth

Tune into life with the help of the friendly professionals at LENTS. Schedule your appointment to address your hearing loss and ensure that you are getting the most out of life!

References:

1. What are the most common types of hearing loss? (earinfo.com)

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