Hearing Loss Education

About Hearing Loss

When any part of the hearing system is unable to function, the result is hearing loss.

There are 3 types of hearing loss:

1. Sensorineural Hearing Loss (or nerve-related deafness) involves damage to the inner ear caused by aging, pre-natal and birth-related problems, viral and bacterial infections, heredity, trauma, exposure to loud noise, fluid backup or benign tumor in the inner ear. Almost all sensorineural hearing losses can be effectively treated with hearing aids.

Signs/symptoms may include:

  • Perceiving speech and other sounds distorted or unclear
  • Difficulty hearing certain pitches (usually high pitches)
  • Hearing a ringing or buzzing sound that is constant or periodic
  • Difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise

2. Conductive Hearing Loss involves the outer and middle ear that may be caused by blockage of wax, punctured eardrum, birth defects, ear infection or heredity, and often can be effectively treated medically or surgically.

Signs/symptoms may include:

  • Perceiving speech and other sounds as faint or muffled
  • Ear pain or discharge from the ear
  • Redness or swelling of the outer ear
  • Pressure or fullness in the ear

3. Mixed Hearing Loss refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural loss and means that a problem occurs in both the outer or middle and the inner ear.

Signs/symptoms may include:

  • Patient may perceive a mixture of signs and symptoms that are typically experienced in a pure sensorineural or a pure conductive hearing loss.