Types of Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss
The most common type of hearing loss is caused by damage to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. This type of hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, aging, injury, illness, or certain medications. It results in reduced sound clarity and difficulty understanding speech.
Conductive hearing loss
This type of hearing loss is caused by a blockage in the outer or middle ear preventing sound from reaching the inner ear. This can be due to fluid buildup, infection, blockage, or physical damage. Conductive hearing loss reduces the sound level but does not usually affect sound clarity.
Mixed hearing loss
This type of hearing loss is a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing losses. It occurs when there is damage to both the inner and outer/middle ear structures. This type of hearing loss can cause difficulty in understanding speech, reduces sound level, and affects sound clarity.
Auditory Neuropathy/Dys-synchrony (AN/AD)
This type of hearing loss is caused by a disruption in the neural pathways between the inner ear and the brain. It can cause difficulty in understanding speech, reduced sound levels, and distorted sounds. The severity of this type of hearing loss can vary from mild to severe.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
This type of hearing loss is caused by a disruption in the way the brain processes sound signals. It does not involve any physical damage to the ear but instead affects how well the sounds are interpreted by the brain. People with CAPD can have difficulty understanding speech, distorted sounds, and reduced sound levels.
Untreated hearing loss
If left untreated, hearing loss can lead to a number of health complications such as depression, anxiety, social isolation, increased risk of falls and injuries, memory problems, and even dementia. It is important to get your hearing checked regularly by an audiologist and to take care of any hearing loss that is diagnosed. It’s never too late to start protecting your hearing!
This information should not be considered medical advice, but rather a general background information on types of hearing loss. If you have any questions or concerns about your hearing, please speak with an audiologist or doctor.