Types of Hearing Loss


Recent statistics from the WHO reveal that five percent of the global population needs rehabilitation to correct disabling hearing loss. This includes approximately 432 million adults and 34 million children.

There are three types of hearing loss, and hearing loss treatment depends on the type. If you have been struggling with hearing loss, here is what to know about it and the potential options for getting help.  

Conductive Hearing Loss

Your ear has three parts. This includes the inner, middle, and outer ear. This is conductive hearing loss when sound cannot penetrate the outer and middle ears.

It is challenging to hear soft sounds, and loud sounds seem muffled. Surgery or even medicine could potentially be hearing loss treatment for this issue.

Conductive hearing loss can have many causes. An ear infection or fluid in your middle ear that occurs because of a cold or allergy can be a cause. Other potential reasons include a benign tumor or a hole in your eardrum.

Earwax stuck in your ear canal can cause conductive hearing loss. So can an object that gets stuck in your outer ear.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

SNHL can happen if there is damage to your inner ear. Another cause of sensorineural hearing loss is if you have issues with the nerve pathways between your inner ear and brain.

Soft sounds can be challenging to hear. Loud sounds may be unclear or muffled. Potential causes of SNHL include aging, illnesses, consumption of drugs, or a blow to the head.

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It’s the most common type of hearing loss. Usually, surgery and medicine cannot help. Your best option for hearing loss treatment is to consider hearing aids.

Mixed Hearing Loss

At times, people can suffer from both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss at the same time. In this case, you would have damage to your middle or outer ear, in addition to the damage to the nerve pathway to your brain or the inner ear. This is what doctors refer to as mixed hearing loss.

The same thing that causes sensorineural and conductive hearing loss can cause mixed hearing loss.

Types of Hearing Aids

When medicine and surgery cannot help, you should ask your doctor about hearing aids. There are four types of hearing aid devices. How they work and where you place them is what makes them unique.

  • BTE (behind-the-ear)
  • ITE (in-the-ear)
  • ITC (in-the-canal)
  • RIC (receiver-in-the-canal)

Each will offer its various features too. Before selecting the right type, you should consider your lifestyle and what is important to you. Some hearing aids offer a trial period, so if you are unsure about the right one, you could ask about this to try one out. 

Types of Hearing Loss

See an audiologist if you are experiencing any of these three types of hearing loss. They can recommend the best choice for a pathway toward better hearing.

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