Learn about the different types of hearing loss

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types of hearing loss

You or your child went to see an Audiologist for a hearing test. You know they explained the test and results to you but it all just sounded a bit like:
‘blah blah blah ear, blah blah blah hearing loss’
It’s not your fault, many Audiologists suffer from technical jargonitis (this is a real thing, I can assure you!).  So to help you out, here is a simple explanation of the 3 types of hearing loss.

1. Conductive Hearing loss
This means the sound is blocked from getting through outer parts of the hearing system to the inner ear properly. So by the time it arrives, the sound is softer than it should be. It makes it seem like the ear is plugged and muffled. Some common causes include: wax blocking the ear canal, a hole in the ear drum or fluid in the middle ear. The blockage can be temporary or permanent. In cases where it cannot be ‘cured’, hearing devices will boost the volume so you can hear once more.

2. Sensorineural Hearing loss
This type of hearing loss is usually permanent and can be caused by several things, but most commonly- ageing, an issue from birth or exposure to loud noise. The problem here is in the inner ear. The organ of hearing, the cochlea has tiny little hairs. These can be broken over time. This stops the cochlea from doing its job and passing the sound to the hearing nerve.  In some cases, the hearing nerve itself may be damaged. What is important for you to know here is that voices sound unclear, as if everyone is mumbling. Hearing devices are the best option for most sensorineural hearing losses.

3. Mixed Hearing loss
This is an easy one- the hearing loss is caused by a mix of the first two- both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Again, hearing devices are really effective

 

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