Health & Wellness

Understanding the Major Types of Hearing Loss

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Posted By Emma Aaron

Hearing loss occurs in persons of different ages and is caused by a variety of circumstances. Sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss are the three hearing loss types that a patient may be diagnosed with. Treatment plans differ for each of these forms of hearing loss.

To acquire the best treatment options, you must first figure out what sort of hearing loss you have. Your audiologist Solvang will tell you whether you can regain your hearing or if you require hearing aids, depending on the type. What patients need to know about each category is listed below.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most prevalent of the three hearing loss types and it occurs when the inner ear is damaged. SNHL is rarely treated with drugs or surgery, but hearing aids may assist you with hearing.

The outer, middle, and inner ear are the three sections that make up your ear. Out of all three, an inner ear injury is responsible for causing sensorineural hearing loss. SNHL can also be caused by problems with the neural connections connecting your inner ear to your brain. Soft sounds can be harder to identify and even stronger sounds can be distorted.

Causes of Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss can be caused by illnesses that may directly or indirectly damage parts of your ear. For example, high body temperature for a prolonged time can irreversibly damage parts of the ear. Some drugs can also damage your ear so you must be careful with taking medication and always read the labels.

If hearing loss runs in your family, it might be genetically predisposed for you to lose your hearing. If you’re someone who suffers from this type of hearing loss, you can run genetic tests while pregnant to determine whether your child will or will not have the same problem, and prepare accordingly.

Other factors that may cause sensorineural hearing loss are aging, head injury, or a problem in how the inner ear has formed. You must also be careful to protect your ears if you’re often exposed to listening to loud noises or some types of explosions, since the loudness may cause irreversible hearing loss.

Also Read: Pros and cons of sleeping with earplugs

Conductive Hearing Loss

Sounds have a hard time getting to your inner ear if you have conductive hearing loss. Soft sounds may be difficult to hear. Sounds that are louder may be muted.  If you suffer from this form of hearing loss, an audiologist can assist you. With the right treatment and medicine or surgery, this type of hearing loss can often be reversed.

Causes of Conductive Hearing Loss

Many things can contribute to this type of hearing loss – liquid discharge from allergies, ear infections, and swimmer’s ear are among them. Poor Eustachian tube function could also be a factor, this is the tube that connects your middle ear and nose. It is used to drain fluid from the middle ear which collects if the tube somehow doesn’t work properly.

Other causes include a hole in your eardrum that might be caused by putting an object too deep inside your ear, like a q-tip. That’s why you always need to be careful when cleaning your ears, and if you think you might have damaged your eardrum, make sure to call your doctor right away. 

Mixed Hearing Loss

A conductive hearing loss and a sensorineural hearing loss can develop at the same time. This could signal injury to the outer or middle ear, the inner ear, or the brain’s neural system. It is essentially a combination of hearing loss.

Causes of Mixed Hearing Loss

Everything which is a cause of conductive hearing loss, or SNHL, can produce mixed hearing loss. Consider if you have hearing loss as a result of working in a noisy environment and have liquid in your middle ear. Together, they could make your hearing worse than if you only had one issue.

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Final thoughts

The majority of individuals had their last hearing test when they were in elementary school. When you’re an adult, it’s a great idea to get your hearing examined at least once during your yearly checkup. This test serves as a baseline so that if you do develop hearing loss, your audiologist may compare your present hearing to your baseline to determine the degree of your hearing loss and treat you accordingly.

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