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Causes & Types of Hearing loss | Speech & Hearing Aid Specialist

Types of Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear (cochlea) or hearing nerve is damaged or does not work properly. With sensorineural hearing loss, sounds are not only softer, but also difficult to understand — especially when it is noisy. types of hearing loss

Common causes include:

  • Congenital hearing loss
  • Aging
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Head injury
  • Genetics
  • Ménières disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Meningitis
  • Adverse reaction to medications.

Types of hearing loss and treatment options include:

  • Hearing aids
  • Cochlear implants
High-frequency hearing loss
High-frequency hearing loss is a type of sensorineural hearing loss where it may be possible to hear some sounds with a lower pitch, but not high-frequency sounds like birds chirping.

Common causes include:

  • Congenital hearing loss
  • Ageing
  • Exposure to loud noise
  • Head injury
  • Genetics
  • Ménières disease
  • Adverse reaction to medications

Treatment options include:

  • Hearing aids
Single-sided deafness (SSD)
Sensorineural hearing loss can occur in one or both ears. If the loss is in one ear, it is often referred to as unilateral hearing loss or single-sided deafness. This is when there is little or no hearing in one ear, but normal hearing in the other ear.

Common causes include:

  • Viral infections
  • Ménières disease
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Adverse reaction to medications
  • Head or ear injuries
  • Many other unknown reasons

Treatment options include:

  • CROS hearing aids
  • Bone conduction solutions
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when damage to the outer ear or middle ear blocks sound vibrations from reaching your inner ear, or cochlear. With this type of hearing loss, ears may feel plugged and speech may sound muffled, especially if there is a lot of background noise.

Common causes include:

  • Malformations at birth such as Microtia and Atresia
  • Syndromes such as Down, Goldenhar, and Treacher Collins
  • Chronic mastoiditis or middle ear infections
  • Skin growth or cyst (cholesteatoma)
  • Draining ears
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Previous ear surgeries
  • Benign tumors

Treatment options include:

  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Hearing aids
  • Bone conduction solutions / ADHEAR
Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. This means there may be damage in both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear.

Common causes include any of the causes of conductive hearing loss plus any of the causes of sensorineural hearing loss.

Treatment options include:

  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Hearing aids
  • Bone conduction solutions
types of hearing aids

Causes of Hearing Loss

Age

Age related degeneration of middle ear, inner ear and nerves that are responsible for hearing are main cause of hearing loss.

Disease

Measles, mumps or any other such type of viral infection, along with diseases like Meniere’s syndrome, tumors of the hearing nerve and meningitis are the second largest reason for hearing loss.

Drugs

There are certain drugs that are known to hamper the functionality of hair cells present in the inner ear; causing hearing loss. Quinine, aminoglycosides, aspirin are some of such drugs that can trigger hearing loss.

Infections

Otitis media is a condition that causes formation of fluid in the middle ear. This fluid hampers hearing to a great extent and can be triggered due to sore throat and inflamed tonsils

Perforation

Drastic change in the air pressure over the eardrums in comparison to the air pressure maintained in the inner ear; such as during adventure sports like paragliding or scuba diving; there are chances of perforation of eardrums, resulting in hearing loss.

Wax

Ear canal, if is blocked due to Wax buildup, then it stops sound to travel towards the inner ear and thus can also cause hearing loss. However, such type of hearing loss can be easily treated with proper medical attention and personal hygiene.

Malformation

If the outer ear or the ear canal is malformed; then it causes acute hearing loss.

Noise

Excessive noise pollution or if exposed to loud noise for a long period of time, then such exposure can cause permanent hearing loss.

The main cause of hearing loss is something we all have to come to terms with – our age. However, it can also be a result from disease, trauma or long-term exposure to damaging noise.

Can hearing Loss Be Cured By Drugs or Surgery?

At the moment, some hearing losses can be treated by either drugs or surgery. Most people with hearing difficulties find that a hearing aid recommended by a Hearing Aid Audiologist will improve their hearing.

Hearing testing is critical for discovering exactly what type of hearing loss you have, and will help determine the hearing care solution that is right for you. Hearing aids are available in many sizes, styles and technologies; there are also many alternatives to hearing aids.
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